BLG Mind research puts perinatal support in spotlight

A mother holding her baby while looking out of the window

Research into perinatal mental health support led by BLG Mind could improve maternity services across south-east London.

Earlier this year, BLG Mind was commissioned by NHS England to carry out research around understanding the barriers to accessing mental health support during the perinatal period (pregnancy and the months following a birth).

The research focused on six south-east London boroughs: Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.

BLG Mind commissioned consultants to carry out the fieldwork in each borough. In total, the consultants engaged with more than 400 women. The findings are now being analysed to identify any trends and reveal whether there are borough-specific barriers to women accessing perinatal mental health support.

Charlotte Fletcher, Head of Development for BLG Mind and project lead, said: “Carrying out this research during a global pandemic has been challenging for everyone involved, and identifying women to take part in the project when most things have been closed and relevant staff have been less available has added to the strain.

“However, I am very pleased that we now have six borough-wide reports to use in generating a report for South East London as a whole.

“I think the consultants who carried out the work have done remarkably well in the circumstances, and I am looking forward to presenting the final report, which will provide recommendations for use in perinatal mental health services within the NHS for the future. This should in turn improve the experiences felt by women accessing these services and make the services more accessible to all.”

BLG Mind will be publishing the results of this survey shortly.