United Kingdom and Ireland Marcé Society (UKIMS) | The International Marce Society for Perinatal Mental Health

United Kingdom and Ireland Marcé Society (UKIMS)

Founded in 2004

President-elect: Melita Walker (2020-Current), email

Read more about our group below

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About Us

UKIMS was formed in 2004 when it was decided that although the Marcé Society was represented across the globe there was no actual British and Ireland Society. The first President, Dr Alain Gregoire created a multi-agency Executive Committee, with members from non-government organisations, midwifery, psychiatry, psychology and health visiting. Regional co-ordinators were also appointed to represent the views of members throughout the UK and Ireland.

Since its conception UKIMS has gone from strength the strength and the membership is steadily increasing. The differing levels of fees means there is the opportunity to subscribe to the scientific journal ‘The Archives of Women’s Mental Health’, which has proved a valuable resource for both researchers and practitioners.  The Newsletter Perinatal Perspectives is produced twice yearly and contains the news and views of members.

There have been UKIMS conferences South Wales, Devon, Cornwall, Nottingham and joint conferences in the South of England. Future conferences are planned for Sheffield and Southampton. There is an annual scientific meeting in London and the venue provides a safe and assuring platform for young, new academics and researchers to present their work.

The major strengths of UKIMS and the Marcé Society are the friendliness and camaraderie which pervades throughout. Eminent psychiatrists debate and discuss their work with novices; professors share their thoughts with clinicians and practitioners. Everyone is passionate about perinatal mental health and wants to make the difference  which will improve the mental health for mothers, their infants and their families.

Upcoming Meetings

UKIMS Annual Meeting
30 September 2021
Virtual Event – click here to register


Michael Craig – Chair  2012-Current
BSc(Hons), MB BS, PhD, FRCOG, FRCPsych
Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, KCL
Consultant Psychiatrist, Female Hormone Clinic, Maudsley Hospital

Dr Craig is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London and visiting Professor at Edge Hill University (www.edgehill.ac.uk). He is also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist within the National Services Directorate at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. In addition to a broad training in general adult psychiatry he has specialist experience in the management of mental health problems of women across the reproductive spectrum and is Clinical Lead of the Female Hormone Clinic at the Maudsley Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists & Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He was previously awarded a Clinical Training Fellowship by the MRC(UK) to fund his PhD into the effects of female sex hormones on the brain. He is currently using brain imaging to study the effects of maternal stress and mental illness on infant brain development.


Sue Smith – Vice Chair

Melita Walker –  Treasurer
BSc (Hons), FiHV, RHV, RMN, PGcert, Mental Health Lead, Institute of Health Visiting
Email: Melita.walker@ihv.org.uk

Melita is a Pioneer Fellow of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and currently iHV Mental Health Lead. Melita has worked in a variety of roles in mental health and public health and her experience of working with people with a mental illness and the links this has with early life experience, health inequalities and the intergenerational transmission of poor mental health inspires a passion for championing the importance of perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH).

As iHV Mental Health Lead, Melita sits on a number of national committees including; the National Health Service Clinical Reference Group for Perinatal Mental Health (PMH), the First 1001 Days Steering Group and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance Campaign Development Group. Melita leads the iHV PIMH Champions project. This project has now trained over 2150 health and social care “Champions”, in perinatal and infant mental health. Champions come from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, including but not limited to maternity, psychology, public health, psychiatry, peer support and social work. Champions have ongoing support and opportunity to influence and progress the PIMH agenda via monthly iHV PIMH Forums.

Vivette Glover – Executive Committee Member

Vivette Glover is currently Professor of Perinatal Psychobiology at Imperial College London. She was trained as a biochemist at Oxford and did her PhD in neurochemistry at University College London. She then moved to Queen Charlotte?s Maternity Hospital, London. In more recent years she has applied her expertise in biological psychiatry to the problems of mothers and babies. In 1997 she set up the Fetal and Neonatal Stress Research Group. The aims are to study fetal and neonatal stress responses, methods to reduce them, and long term effects. The effects of psychopathology in the mother, both on the developing fetus and longer term on the child are also being studied. This is a new field for study, and one which involves linking obstetrics, paediatrics, psychology and psychiatry.

Recent projects of interest include studies characterising the stress responses of the fetus, and the first trial of analgesia in the fetus; studies showing that maternal antenatal stress or anxiety increases the risk for a range of emotional, behavioural and cognitive adverse outcomes for the child; and studies showing possible mechanisms by which maternal stress or anxiety may affect the development of the fetus. This work is showing the importance of the fetal period, and the emotional state of the mother during pregnancy, for the later neurodevelopment of the child. She has published over 400 papers.

Ian Jones – Executive Committee Member and Past Chair 2010 – 2012
BSc, MBBS, MSc, MRCPsych, PhD
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff University

Dr Ian Jones is Senior Lecturer in Perinatal Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in the Department of Psychological Medicine, Cardiff University. Graduating from St Georges Hospital Medical School, London, he trained in general medicine and psychiatry in South Wales and on obtaining membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists began research training in the Neuropsychiatric Genetics Group at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship to study the genetics of Puerperal Psychosis in Birmingham and spent a year as a visiting research fellow at the Medical College of Virginia, USA. Prior to his appointment in Cardiff he was Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. His main research interest is molecular genetic approaches to the study of affective disorders in general and puerperal psychosis in particular. He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications and book chapters in the fields of mood disorder genetics and perintatal psychiatry. His main clinical interest is developing services to identify women at risk of severe postpartum episodes.

Susan Pawlby – Executive Committee Member

Alain Gregoire – Executive Committee Member

Louise Howard – Executive Committee Member

Louise Howard is Professor of Women’s Mental Health and Head of the Section of Women’s Mental Health in the Health Service and Population Research Department at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. She also works as a consultant perinatal psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust.

Her PhD focussed on the outcome of pregnancy in women with severe mental illness, using epidemiological methods as part of a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship. She has been Principal Investigator for several RCTs evaluating the effectiveness of interventions for women with mental illness, including an HTA funded trial of treatments for postnatal depression. Her current research includes NIHR funded studies investigating domestic violence and mental health, and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of perinatal psychiatry services.