Guest blog by Everyone’s Business Scotland coordinator, Laura Bennison
A record-breaking election
The Scottish parliamentary elections on 6 May saw the highest turnout in its history, with 66% of the population casting their vote. The Scottish National Party has been handed a fresh five-year term in government at Holyrood, their fourth in a row.
We hope to continue our work with Clare Haughey MSP, pending Cabinet decisions.
How is the £52m being spent?
At the next Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Programme Board meeting on Thursday 27 May, the Scottish Government Policy Team will present monitoring information collected from regional health boards as part of the 2020-21 funding process. This is the first time health boards will provide data on how they have spent the Scottish Government’s £52 million investment into perinatal mental health (PMH) so far.
This crucial information should give us good insight into:
- how services are developing
- recruitment of new specialist posts
- development of care pathways
- any remaining service gaps that urgently need to be filled.
This will inform the next stage of the Everyone’s Business campaign in Scotland.
Nine out of the 14 health boards in Scotland do not have a specialist PMH service, and out of those that do only one has a comprehensive service. This funding investment needs to have a transformative effect to bring every health board up to the National Clinical guidelines.
Watch this space for more information.
Current campaign focus in Scotland
The MMHA will continue to push for appropriate funding for specialist PMH care for new and expectant mothers, their babies, and families. It is vital that PMH support is available to all women across Scotland, especially considering the additional mental health challenges caused by the pandemic.
What we would like to see:
- More research to increase our understanding of those most affected in Scotland and outstanding areas of need to be urgently addressed.
- Cross-party support to turn the map green and ensure that specialist PMH services meet national quality standards.
- The voice of lived experience leading improvements in service development.
- Investment in the 3rd sector beyond peer support that recognises the vital contribution counselling and befriending make to women’s recovery
- Ongoing support and training in Perinatal Mental Health for everyone involved in universal care for women including GPs, health visitor and family nurses to spot the signs early and get women the help they deserve.