Akvinder Bola-Emerson: improving mental health support to new mothers
Akvinder Bola-Emerson (CF 2017) from Hounslow in London is a perinatal mental health clinical lead for the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust. Through her work, she has noticed that the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on new mothers’ mental wellbeing.
Akvinder will use her grant to develop a model of perinatal couple therapy to support new mothers with a mental illness diagnosis. This will be delivered through a course of couple therapy sessions for mothers and their partners, at their home or a local children’s centre. Akvinder will also offer multi-family group therapy interventions, providing an opportunity for couples to interact with others in a similar situation and learn copying strategies to help with their mental health recovery. To help these sessions, she aims to provide extra training for perinatal staff members in supporting families. Akvinder hopes that this will decrease the possibility of a mental health breakdown in new mothers and prevent relationship breakdowns.
Akvinder’s Fellowship to Australia and the USA in 2017 explored preventing relationship breakdowns between parents through perinatal mental health support. It was supported by the Wave Trust.