A consultant physiatrist who uses music and the arts to help people through mental health challenges addressed parliament at an event in Westminster.

Dr Ramya Mohan, a Consultant Psychiatrist based in the Worthing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), was invited to speak at ‘HOPE’, an event hosted at The House of Commons.

The ground-breaking event, which was organised by Consultant Obstetrician Dr Raja Gangopadhyay, aimed to raise awareness of mental wellbeing in women during pregnancy and remove stigma in society.

As an accomplished composer, musician, performer, artist and writer, Ramya uses her academic and creative skills to create projects, events and techniques to support people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing, and in her talk at the event, Ramya discussed ‘Creativity and Creation: a mental health strategy using the creative arts for women and families in pregnancy and beyond’.

Ramya said: “I was very pleased and proud to have been invited to speak at this event. It was important to me that I was able to highlight the mental health issues that expectant mothers, new mothers and families face and the creative tools and strategies that can be used to help them to cope.

“In my talk I tried to share different perspectives and presentations of mental illness that I see across the Eastern and Western world, and how having an improved understanding of people’s needs really helps me in my work with the diverse population of children and families that we see in Sussex CAMHS.

“My talk was followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience, which included parliamentarians, policy makers, change makers, representatives from the health care sector, and mental health campaigners.

“As a composer and musician I try to find ways to use the arts to support people with their mental health. Three years ago I created a therapeutic technique called CAPE, which stands for Creative Arts for Processing Emotions. This technique has proved to be very useful and helped support the resilience and emotional health of many women, children and families who have new babies.”

According to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 10 mothers experience difficulties with their mental health during pregnancy, making it one of the most common health conditions during pregnancy.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides a Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service for mums in Sussex and East Surrey who are experiencing severe mental health difficulties during pregnancy or up to a year after birth. The team also supports expectant mothers who are currently well but have experienced mental health difficulties in the past, as well as fathers and partners.

To find out more about Ramya, her work and upcoming events go to www.ramyamohan.com For more information about the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service, or the other services that Sussex Partnership provides for adults and young people across the South of England, go to www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk