Perinatal mental illness is a significant complication of pregnancy and the postpartum period affecting 20% of mothers and 10% of fathers. It has been associated with poor cognitive and physical development in children. Early detection and effective treatment of perinatal psychiatric disorders are critical for the welfare of parents and their children.
The aim of the Perinatal Positivity project was to improve awareness of the signs of perinatal mental ill health for new families and to inform them of steps they could take for self-care and where to receive support.
A multi professional team consisting of the film director and four health professionals were brought together. Focus groups and surveys were carried out with professionals and parents with lived experience of perinatal mental illness. Their feedback was used in the animation.
Following this, a 6-minute animated film was produced, is free to download and can be viewed by parents and professionals. In March 2019, ‘Perinatal Positivity’ won the Journal of Health Visiting award for Innovation.