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Call for dedicated funding for culturally appropriate mental health supports for new mothers

Published: Wednesday, May 01, 2024

The voices of women who have experienced barriers in accessing perinatal mental health supports at primary care level, within the community, and when seeking specialist supports, will be heard at a conference in Dublin on May 1st 2024. The conference: "From Research to Action: Improving Perinatal Mental Health for All Women in Ireland" is co-hosted by the Trinity Centre for Maternity Care Research (TCMCR) at Trinity College Dublin and the National Women’s Council.

The event creates an inclusive space to amplify women’s voices and experiences of maternal mental health, particularly those from marginalised and ethnic minority groups. Leading civil society organisations working directly with marginalised cohorts of women and in mental health advocacy, women with lived experience, key academics, and HSE colleagues from various relevant disciplines, will contribute their voice to the conference. The event is already sold out, with 130 delegates registered to attend.

The conference is chaired by Catherine Brogan, President of Mental Health Europe & Chair of Sharing the Vision, National Implementation and Monitoring Committee (NIMC).

Doireann Crosson, NWC's Women's Health Coordinator, said:

“This joint event is an opportunity to amplify the voices of women who have experienced barriers in accessing supports at primary care level, within the community, and when seeking specialist supports. While there has been significant progress in recent years, previously identified priorities like the establishment of a Mother & Baby Unit which provides in-patient support to mothers with their newborns, are awaited.  

We also know that challenges are more pronounced for migrant women and those from ethnic minority groups, including Traveller and Roma women. This highlights the need for greater investment, as well as targeted and culturally appropriate mental health supports."

Dr Deirdre Daly, Director of the Trinity Centre for Maternity Care Research, said:

“TCMCR aims to improve outcomes for women, their babies and children, partners and families in diverse social settings through all stages of the reproductive cycle. We believe we can achieve this together when those in our care are central to research activities and all research conducted is with and for them. We prioritise conducting research and other quality improvement initiatives with women and all our health and social care professional partners. 

“Together with the NWC, we are delighted to co-host this conference that is focused on and listens to women and women’s advocacy groups. Ensuring women have a central place in research is a core value for researchers in the TCMCR and is a core value of the Maternal health and Maternal Morbidity in Ireland (MAMMI) study. We are delighted to share findings from the MAMMI study and Dr Hannon’s thesis on what women said about their perinatal mental health from pregnancy through to one year postpartum – findings that are unique and new in Ireland. 

“We hope that this event draws attention to the importance of developing policy, practice, and services that have been informed by women’s voices and experiences, and emphasise the need for dedicating funding and resources to developing the supports that women say they want, and need, to experience motherhood in the best physical and mental health possible.”  


Please contact Sinéad Nolan on sineadn@nwci.ie for more information


Notes for the Editor

Event information


Date: Wednesday 1st May 2024

Registration and Refreshments: 10:30 - 11:00 am

Conference: 11.00am - 2:00pm (followed by light lunch)

Location: Lecture Theatre 2.57, TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery, The Gas Building, 24 D’Olier Street, Dublin 2.




Conference Chair: Catherine Brogan, Chair of Sharing the Vision NIMC

Presentation: The policy landscape influencing perinatal mental health outcomes by Fiona Coyle, CEO of Mental Health Reform

Presentation: Perinatal mental health in Ireland: Woman centred research by Dr Déirdre Daly & Dr Susie Hannon, MAMMI Study.

Panel Discussion : Understanding the challenges to accessing women-centred care

Panel Chair: TBC


Angela Dunne, Director of Midwifery, National Women & Infant Health Programme

Dr Krysia Lynch, Chair, AIMS Ireland

Emilia Marchelewska, Cairde

Daniela Ferro, See Change Ambassador

Presentations: Community based supports for perinatal mental health by Susan Brocklesby, and other presenters TBC.

Panel Discussion: Barriers & Enablers to the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Model of Care in Ireland


Panel Chair: Dr. Margo Wrigley, Former HSE Lead for Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Programme


· Dr Colm Cooney, HSE Lead for Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Programme

· Dr Triona McCaffrey, Lecturer in Music Therapy

· Dr Mas Mahady Mohamad, Consultant Psychiatrist with the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team, University Maternity Hospital Limerick.

· Michelle Daly Hayes, Lived Experience Champion