The maternal mental health experiences of young mums

Posted By: Maria Bavetta

18th October 2023

  • MMHA news
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  • EDI
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2 minute read

“They tell you, not help you”

Today, the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition (CYPMHC) and the MMHA are launching ‘The Maternal Mental Health Experiences of Young Mums’ report, which includes both a literature review and first-hand insights from young mums impacted by maternal mental health problems. This collaboration began from a shared desire to spotlight the needs of young mums and their mental health and how to improve perinatal mental health provision in an inclusive way.

The reality is:

  • postnatal depression is up to twice as prevalent in teenage mothers compared to those over 20
  • 1 in 4 births in England and Wales were to young people aged 16-24
  • there has been a tragic rise in teenage maternal suicides.

This report shines a light on the urgent needs of young mums and how across the UK, we must make the report’s recommendations a positive reality.

What needs to change?

Based on the experiences and insights received from young mothers and the evidence collated in the literature review, the briefing identifies 4 priority areas for action to better support the needs of young mothers:

  1. Listen and respond to the needs of young mothers in national and local systems
  2. Resource and invest in universal and preventative services
  3. Ensure access to specialist mental health services
  4. Research and listen to the voices of young mums.

For too long, young mums’ needs and views have been ignored. It is time their experiences were listened to, and their needs centred in the planning of perinatal mental health support. Today is an important starting point, but it is vital that we listen to their voices in order to build effective systems of support. You can read more about our findings by downloading the documents below:

Watch a recording of the launch event

Working together to make a difference

We know that change is possible when we work together, so please help us to ensure this report drives change for women and families with a specific focus on young people:

  1. Download and share the report with decision-makers in your locality
  2. Share the report on your socials, tagging @MMHAlliance and @CYPMentalhealth
  3. Use the hashtag #YoungMumsMH
  4. Talk about the briefing with those in a position to make change happen.

About The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

Vision: For all babies, children and young people to grow up in a society that prioritises, invests, listens and attends to their mental health and wellbeing. We listen to, and learn from members, supporters, children and young people and families, using this knowledge to influence and shape policy, systems and practice.

Questions about the report? Contact us:

  • Charlotte Rainer, Coalition Manager at CYPMHC,
  • Maria Bavetta, Head of Engagement at MMHA,

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