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’Mind Mothers’ suite of resources to support care of women experiencing perinatal mental health issues launched


The HSE’s Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD) launched the ‘Mind Mothers’, suite of resources for nurses and midwives who care for women experiencing perinatal mental health issues at the National Perinatal Mental Health Conference in Dublin on 5th September.
Mind Mothers sets out best practice principles and is an educational e-learning tool for midwives, public health and practice nurses and was developed by the research team, led by Professor Agnes Higgins at the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Other members of the TCD research team comprised Margaret Carroll (Assoc. Prof), Mark Monahan (Assist. Prof), Ms. Carmel Downes and Ms Ailish Gill. 


The suite of resources comprises:

  • ‘Mind Mother’s Study’ Report: Perinatal mental health: an exploration of practices, policies, processes and education needs of midwives and nurses within maternity and primary care services in Ireland
  • Perinatal Mental Health Best Practice Principles: Perinatal Mental Health Care: Best Practice Principles for Midwives, Public Health and Practice Nurses
  • e-Learning programme for Perinatal Mental Health: “Mind Mothers: An E-Learning Programme in Perinatal Mental Health for Midwives, Public Health and Practice Nurses”

At the launch Professor Higgins (SoNM) provided a detailed overview of the National ‘Mind Mother’s Study’ undertaken by the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin which explored midwives, public health nurses and practice nurses level of engagement and competence in perinatal mental health care and their educational needs. The results of the study identified priorities for change within maternity and primary care services in Ireland.
The Best Practice Principles for Midwives, Public Health Nurses and Practice Nurses were formulated in a response to the research undertaken. This document consists of 25 key principles that address collaborative practice, informed decision making, proactive planning, emotional safe care, and multidisciplinary working. It is envisioned that these evidence-based principles will support nurses and midwives when caring for women during the perinatal period within the Irish healthcare system.
Dr Mark Monahan introduced the Mind Mother’s e-Learning programme, which provides staff with an opportunity to engage in best practice care guidelines in a learning environment which will in turn support nurses and midwives who deliver the service to mothers.
Speaking at the launch, Professor John Sheehan, Consultant in Perinatal Mental Health at the Rotunda Hospital, welcomed the publishing of the report and the best practice guidelines, commenting that the introduction of the eLearning package would be a valuable resource for all of those working in the area of perinatal mental health.  Mary Wynne, Interim Nursing and Midwifery Services Director and Assistant National Director HSE, said “The ‘Mind Mothers’ resources which we are making available today to all nurse and midwives, will enhance the service we provide to women.  With the best practice eLearning programme and principles, nurses and midwives will be better prepared to support women through what can be a difficult time for some. It is important that we all mind our mental health and particularly for women who are pregnant or have just given birth. These resources are all part of our efforts to build a better health service for our communities” she added.
Prof Agnes Higgins, Trinity College Dublin said, “Midwives and nurses are ideally positioned within the health care team to identify women in need of mental health support and care. Yet the ‘Mind Mothers Study’ indicates they lack knowledge and confidence in some areas of perinatal mental health.  The eLearning programme and practice guide were developed to meet the needs identified in the research. They are valuable resources in supporting the care offered to women during pregnancy and the post-natal period.”
The Mind Mother’s resources are available on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.ie/eng/about/Who/ONMSD/NMPDU/NMPDDN/publications.html and the e-learning programme will be available for staff to access on www.HSELand.ie