Skip navigation

Why is perinatal mental health important?

Elaine Hanzak Survivor of Postnatal Depression and Author ‘Eyes without Sparkle – a journey through postnatal illness’ spoke at today's improving the quality of perinatal mental health conference on

  • learning from the report: the costs of perinatal mental health problems
  • personal stories of postnatal mental distress
  • why perinatal mental health is important
  • what organisations and individuals can do to support women and their families


Elaine Hanzak'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 begin the day by sharing 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. In true ‘teacher’ style Elaine will also give homework on reflections and actions!

Elaine has just completed her next book, due for publication in September 2015. ‘Another Twinkle in the Eye’ will be 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


Safe Midwife Staffing in Maternity Settings
Monday 6 July 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Midwife Appraisal and Revalidation
Wednesday 30 September 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Improving Mental Health Crisis Care
Thursday 15 October 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

19 May 2015


    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