Farm family perspectives sought for post-natal mental health study

A PhD student at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, is undertaking a research study to examine the needs, and perspectives, of partners of mothers, who experience post-natal mental health issues.

The Health Research Board of Ireland funded study is being carried out by Jill Atkinson.

I am very aware of the role agri groups have in promoting and supporting positive mental health. I particularly want to recruit participants from agricultural backgrounds.

“For most families, having a baby is a happy occasion. A small number of mothers, however, suffer from post-natal mental distress following the birth of their baby. Post-natal mental distress is a range of symptoms and experiences that a mother may experience within the first year following the birth of a baby,” she said.

Examples, she said, are broad. They can include: anxiety, post-natal depression and/or postpartum psychosis that may, or may not, have received a clinical diagnosis.

Often the mother’s partner can play an important role during this time, Atkinson explained.

“Currently, we have little knowledge on how the partners of mothers who experience mental distress during this time respond, or what they need or desire to assist them. This study hopes to provide insights into understanding partners’ experiences in order to provide the support they need during this period,” she said.

Participation in the study is voluntary. It will involve a one-to-one interview lasting no longer than an hour-and-a-half, at a place and time convenient for the respondent. Interviewees will be asked about their experience of when the mother of their baby experienced post-natal mental distress.

Further details are available from Jill Atkinson on: 087-0629892 or by email on: [email protected]