Publish date: 2 February 2024
On Wednesday 31 January, the West London NHS Trust Tri-Borough Perinatal Service held a screening of the "Mother Tongue, Motherhood, and Mental Health" film in White City, Shepherd’s Bush.
The film is co-produced by service users and sheds light on challenges faced by mothers from minoritised communities in west London dealing with mental health issues. The film features women from diverse backgrounds sharing their perinatal mental health experiences in their native languages. The event at the Imperial Rooms in White City engaged audiences with its powerful narrative on culture, motherhood, and maternal mental wellbeing.
A collection of short films has been produced and aims to break the silence around maternal mental health, highlighting recovery stories from various cultural backgrounds, supported by the West London Perinatal Mental Health Service.
The service, comprising of mental health specialists, offers assessment and care to mothers planning a pregnancy or experiencing mental health difficulties during or after childbirth. They aim to support at least 10% of all mothers in the local community during early motherhood. Providing diagnosis and tailored treatments, including medication advice, talking therapies, and mum and baby groups, the service caters to the diverse demographic makeup of London.
Dr Jamila Carey, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist within the service said: “Since 2019, our service’s equality and diversity project group has worked to connect with minoritised communities to increase awareness and support access to perinatal mental health care.
“Peer-to-peer conversation has emerged as a powerful tool in reducing stigma about maternal mental illness, leading to the development of the multilingual short films featuring service users sharing their experiences.
"We’re so proud of these films and of the service users and families who brought them to life.“
The event also included a panel discussion with service users, carers, and maternity and mental health experts, exploring themes from the films and offering strategies for supporting affected individuals and families. The service is committed to increasing awareness of perinatal mental health and encourage mothers from all backgrounds to access support.