The Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s Everyone’s Business campaign calls for all women throughout the UK who experience a perinatal mental health illness to receive the care they and their families need, wherever and whenever they need it.
More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. If untreated, these perinatal mental illnesses can have a devastating impact on the women affected and their families. In the UK, mental illness in pregnant and postnatal women often goes unrecognized, undiagnosed and untreated.
Our maps show just how patchy the current provision of specialist perinatal mental health services is. Women and their families still face a tragic postcode lottery. Despite recent additional funding pledged in England and Wales, many areas in the UK still have no specialist perinatal mental health services meeting national standards.
Why the focus on specialist perinatal mental health services?
The term ‘specialist perinatal mental health services’ refers to both specialist perinatal mental health community teams, as well as inpatient mother and baby units where mum and baby are cared for together when hospitalisation is required. There are clear national guidelines setting out that specialist services for women who meet the need threshold are vital.
Specialist perinatal mental health services save lives; they also act as a catalyst for change across the whole pathway, including for women who do not meet the need threshold for referral: specialist teams identify gaps in other parts of the care pathway, including for women with mild to moderate perinatal mental health problems; advocate for these to be addressed; share expertise and deliver training with a range of health and social care professionals including GPs, health visitors and midwives.
Let’s Turn the Map Green together as a crucial first step to ensuring all women throughout the UK who experience perinatal mental health problems receive the care they and their families need, wherever and whenever they need it.
- Read our Call to ACT NOW which sets out the urgent MMHA campaign priorities.
- Support and get involved.
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