Skip navigation

Elaine Hanzak Speaks on Improving Maternal Mental Health

Elaine began her presentation by sharing her own and other stories of postnatal illness along with some of the latest figures and current situation for relevant help and support in the UK. Elaine also provide some of her thoughts on how individuals can improve their knowledge and practice against a wealth of additional resources.

In her presentation Elaine commented:

'I put lots of pressure on myself - I refused help from family etc'

'I read in a magazine some of the tell tale signs of post natal depression and thought - I have all of those'

'Something very important that I learnt is that it is an illness, its treatable and you will get better'

'When I felt very desperate, I didn’t want to die I just wanted my brain to switch off'

'I was treated with ECT - it worked, I learnt to sleep, I learnt to switch off and I slowly recovered'

'After, I learnt that asking for help is a sign of courage not failure'

'Postnatal depression effects the whole family, not just the mother'

'What to parents want?  - they want you to listen to them and take their concerns seriously. Ask them if they are ok then ask - are you really ok? You will often get a very different answer'

'There is a whole army of us out there who have suffered from PND, we want to make it better for other people'

Elaine's biography

Elaine is the author of ‘Eyes without sparkle – a journey through postnatal illness’ (2005, Radcliffe) which describes the events surrounding her family over a traumatic, four year period. She was encouraged to share her story and continues to achieve her aim that it helps both those suffering and those involved with anyone with a depressive illness and working with patients, not just pregnant women.

Previously a teacher for children with learning difficulties she now speaks and writes full-time on this subject. Elaine has spoken internationally, including at the European Parliament, been on television programmes such as BBC Breakfast and is often in local and national media.

Elaine has been invited to speak to a wide range of audiences, health professionals and students, in particular, to learn from her experiences, both positive and otherwise and to help shape the future services available to patients. She also offers workshops.

Her overall message is positive and of hope for anyone facing mental health challenges around pregnancy and early parenthood. She aims to inspire health professionals to make a difference with their current and future patients so that more eyes can regain their sparkle and delight in life, as she has done.

Today Elaine will be chairing the conference. She will also share her own and other stories of perinatal illness along with some of the latest figures and current situation for relevant help and support in the UK. Elaine will also provide some of her thoughts on how individuals can improve their knowledge and practice against a wealth of additional resources.

Elaine has just had her second book published - ‘Another Twinkle in the Eye’. This is a guide for parents who are considering another baby after a previous perinatal mental illness and ideas for how healthcare professionals can support them.

Future conferences of interest:

Improving Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Wednesday 8 June 2016
ICO Conference Centre
London
Investigation of Deaths in Mental Health & Learning Disabilities Services
Wednesday 22 June 2016
Hallam Conference Centre
London
Improving Mental Health Crisis Care: Maintaining Momentum
Wednesday 22 June 2016
ICO Conference Centre
London
Mental Health, Ill Health & Personality Disorder
Thursday 23 June 2016
ICO Conference Centre
London

4 May 2016

 PreviousNext 

    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member ASGBI (Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland) professional partner BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences