Conference throws spotlight on maternal mental health in Wales

By RCM on 27 April 2017 Wales RCM Wales Pregnancy Maternal Mental health Public Health Welsh Government

The mental health needs of women in Wales around pregnancy are the focus of a major conference this week in Cardiff. It is aiming to highlight the importance of maternal mental health and the impact that poor mental health can have on women and their families. There will be a focus on the best way for health professionals to improve care for women and their families.

The conference at City Hall in Cardiff on Thursday, 27th April 2017 is jointly organised by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), 1000 Lives Improvement and Public Health Wales.

Among the key speakers is Cardiff mother and charity founder Laura Jane Dernie. Laura suffered with depression during and after both of her pregnancies and fully believes that talking about mental health can save lives. Laura founded the charity My Discombobulated Brain. This aims to tackle the stigma associated with mental health and offers support and education to those who are affected by these issues

Vaughan Gething the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport will also be speaking at the event. He will be outlining the progress the NHS in Wales is making following thee Welsh Government’s £1.5 million investment in perinatal mental health services. Over 200 delegates are expected including midwives, psychiatrists and other health professionals, all of whom work together to deliver mental health services in Wales.

Other speakers include Karen Jewell, Nursing Officer for Maternity and Early Years in the Welsh Government and Jenny Burns, Perinatal Mental Health Project Manager for Two in Mind and Senior Occupational Therapist at Mind Cymru.

Helen Rogers, Director for Wales at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The RCM is delighted to announce that for the second year running we have teamed up with a key strategic partner to deliver our Spring Conference. This year ourselves, 1000 Lives Improvement and Public Health Wales will be focusing on perinatal mental health.

“Since the Welsh Government announced that it was to invest £1.5 million in perinatal mental health services there has been much discussion as to how best to engage with all relevant health professionals so that women and families receive the best service possible. Midwives and maternity support workers are frequently the first to identify that a woman has mental health issues and they are key to ensuring that she receives the appropriate referral and care.

“Ensuring that women suffering from mental health problems during and after their pregnancy get the best possible care is crucial. It is vital for their health and wellbeing and getting services right will save lives. Suicide is one of the main reasons that women die after pregnancy. This can literally be a matter of life and death.”

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

More Information on the Perinatal Mental Health Conference is available here:



Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at