The Maternal Mental Health Alliance -Everyone’s Business campaign welcomes the £75 million over 5 years allocated to perinatal mental health services following George Osborne’s announcement today, as well as the acknowledgement of the unmet mental health needs of pregnant women and new mothers. We look forward to working with the Government to explore the further details in how this new money will be spent.
Although this funding is a vital first step, it is important to note that this allocation can only lay the foundations for the future investment still needed for improved and equitable access to services for all pregnant women and new mothers. The facts still remain:
- More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or the first year after having a baby
- 7 in 10 women hide or underplay the severity of their illness
- Suicide is a leading cause of death for women during pregnancy and in the year after giving birth
- All women in the UK have access to specialist physical health care in pregnancy and postnatally, but most women do not have access to specialist perinatal mental health care at this critical time. See maps for further details.
The announcement today highlights the importance to the nation of perinatal mental health, but this is only a first step towards the access to specialist perinatal mental health care all women across the country should have – in line with national guidance. The NHS and all Clinical Commissioning Groups must now take urgent action to ensure all women have access to safe care for their mental health during pregnancy and postnatally.
Click here to view the MMHA #everyonesbusiness campaign Call to Act which clearly defines how equitable specialist perinatal mental health services can be made possible and by when.
For further information, interviews with experts and ex-patients, please contact Maria Bavetta 07807 130878