By Dr Sarah Witcombe-Hayes, Everyone’s Business Wales Coordinator
The next Senedd elections are less than 50 days away and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance want to ensure that perinatal mental health is firmly on the agenda.
On Thursday 6th May 2021, the people of Wales will elect members to the newly renamed Senedd Cymru – the Welsh Parliament. This historic election will be the first time that 16 and 17-year-olds have the opportunity to vote since the Senedd was established in 1999.
MMHA has used the strength of our collective voice to launch a Senedd Election Manifesto that calls on all political parties and candidates to prioritise maternal mental health and Turn the Map Green during the next Senedd term.
We call on the next Welsh Government to:
Sufficiently resource all health boards to have accessible specialist perinatal mental health services that meet national quality standards
Establish a permanent mother and baby unit (MBU) in Wales, and have a clear and accessible MBU option for women in North Wales
Provide training in perinatal mental health care for all professionals involved in the care of women during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
While we recognise that there have been some encouraging pledges and signs of progress during the last five years, quite simply, it has not been enough. Gaps remain in vital perinatal mental health services, meaning many women and families are not receiving the support they need.
In the wake of growing concerns about the increased challenges that the pandemic has posed for women’s mental health during pregnancy and after birth, it is crucial that urgent measures are taken in Wales to ensure that all women and their families can get consistent, accessible and quality perinatal mental health care.
The MMHA Everyone’s Business campaign looks forward to working with elected candidates and the Welsh Government to make this a reality for all women and their families in Wales.
Read the MMHA’s Senedd election manifesto in English or Welsh:
If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about our Senedd Election Manifesto, please email MMHA’s Everyone’s Business Wales Coordinator, Dr Sarah Witcombe-Hayes, at firstname.lastname@example.org.