UMHL Perinatal Mental Health Service wellness day – Pictured above are members of the team at the Wellness Day in the Castletroy Park Hotel. From left: Dr Niamh O’Dwyer, Senior Clinical Psychologist; Patricia O’Dea, Senior Social Worker; Aideen Higgins, Senior Occupational Therapist; Pauline Walsh, candidate Advanced Nurse Practitioner (cANP); Finola Roe, Clinical Nurse Specialist; Dr Mas Mahady, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist and Team Lead; Sheree O’Brien, Team Administrator; and Jenny Keane, Clinical Nurse Specialist.
UMHL-based service marks World Mental Health Week with its first Wellness Day
Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford was the special guest at a gathering of 74 Mid-West mums on October 10, in the Castletroy Park Hotel for a Wellness Day hosted by the UMHL Perinatal Mental Health Service team from University Maternity Hospital Limerick.
The opening performance by the award-winning musician and songwriter was a major highlight of a day that saw the perinatal mental health team and their HSE Mid West Community Healthcare colleagues explore all aspects of wellness, including physical and mental wellbeing, and creativity
Ms Langford’s melodic, uplifting music, which has made her recordings so celebrated and critically acclaimed at home and abroad, was the perfect curtain-raiser for an event that also marked the start of World Mental Health Week.
“We’re delighted that Emma has endorsed our first Wellness Day in this way,” said event organiser, Pauline Walsh, a candidate Advanced Nurse Practitioner (cANP) with the perinatal mental health team at University Maternity Hospital Limerick.
The Limerick singer’s appearance also underscored the centrality of creative arts in the Specialist UHML Perinatal Mental Health Service offering. The event included a workshop with art therapist Emilie Browne, while music therapist Pui Sze brought the occasion to a close with a musical performance that had all mums and staff participating.
The UMHL Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service was established in 2018 and is jointly governed by UL Hospitals Group and HSE Mid West Community Healthcare. It’s a referral service for women who experience mental health difficulties in pregnancy or up to the first year after birth.
Also part of the varied programme, Tracy Mahedy from Limerick Sports Partnership discussed the links between physical activity and mental well-being, while Marie Barrett, Community Dietitian, delivered a presentation on nourishing the body and the mind.
Claire Flynn, Regional Development Officer of the Mental Health Association spoke about the significance of hosting the event as part of World Mental Health Day. She then led a discussion on Managing Stress, and Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Nodlaig Moore, introduced the gathering to the benefits of mindfulness and a short meditation.
Also promoted at the event was ARIES Mid West (Advancing Recovery in Ireland Education Service), the inspirational and inclusive educational programme on recovery and well-being, which is available throughout the region.
Pauline added, “One of the main aims of this event is to reduce the stigma and explore the misunderstandings about mental health, and how to manage the challenges of childbirth, maternity leave, and parenthood. Our service users really connected with Emma’s uplifting performance, which set such a hopeful and empowering tone for the day. The program for the day was varied so there was something meaningful for each woman during the day.”
Dr Mas Mahady, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist and Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service team lead, said, “We hope our Wellness Day emphasised the importance of mental health during the pregnancy and postpartum period and promoted engagement with services in the community who are all doing excellent work. We also wanted to highlight the value of self-care and self-compassion at a time when a mother’s instinct is to put herself last. It’s important that we continue to acknowledge and respect the role of mothers, by supporting them and their mental health. The Specialist Perinatal Mental Health team in UMHL endeavours to continue helping women with mental health difficulties in a holistic manner, with a broad range of treatment options.”
Women can access the perinatal mental health service through their midwifery carers or consultants at UMHL, or through their GPs.
See the HSE website for more HERE
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