#BabyLossAwarenessWeek – Postscript for #BLAW2019

It’s been a very trying few weeks even before getting to #BabyLossAwarenessWeek but with a timely intervention I got back into the work that needed to be done.

Together we have achieved a lot. There is still much to be done and some things to think about as we pass this week and it starts to fade from public memory.

I’m still speaking to bereaved parents that are struggling to find the psychological support they need. One mother did manage to get counselling after an 18 week wait. The counselling was held in the antenatal ward.

I’m heartened to see some media coverage (thanks to the Independent) of the topic and in local newspapers but much of it was focused on breaking the silence rather than the theme of improving access to psychological support.

As I said in my previous post, there feels like a missed opportunity to link the work of #BLAW2019 with the work of mental health charities also struggling to bridge the gap between asking to people to talk and the access to the support they need

It’s not just a missed opportunity but unintentionally contributes to the fatigue and anger of those with lived experience when it comes to awareness days and their negative perception of them, reducing willingness to engage and participate.

It’s not just an unwillingness, more so than years before I have seen bereaved parents really struggle with the media (and social media’s) focus on awareness rather than change.

What makes it all the more baffling is that there is an interest in this area. Look at the coverage post-Louis Theroux documentary on mother / baby units and hard topics like suicide and psychosis.

There was a ready made Sands #OutOfSite report and the Petals Life After Loss report with infographics, case studies and easily quotable quotes.

And why won’t terrestrial TV show Still Loved which highlights these issues around the long term mental health impacts of baby loss?

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