Support For All: Why maternal mental health matters

This week (April 30 – 6 May) is the second annual UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness week, coordinated by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK. More than one in ten women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or in the first year of their baby’s life. Untreated, perinatal mental illness is one of the leading causes of death for women during pregnancy and the first year after birth.

The members of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance are committed to working together to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all women and their children in pregnancy and the first postnatal year. We want to ensure that care is provided across the pathway for women and their families.

Together with Comic Relief, we recently commissioned Mind and the McPin Foundation to develop a set of principles to help voluntary and community sector organisations ensure that their peer support programmes for mums with maternal mental health difficulties are safe and effective.

Our Campaign, Everyone’s Business, focuses on ensuring that women and families across the UK get access to specialist perinatal mental health services that meet national standards. Our recently launched new maps show where there are gaps in service provision. We want to turn the map green!

Our Mums and Babies In Mind project supports local leaders in four areas of England (Blackpool, Southend, Haringey and Gloucestershire) to improve care and quality of life for mums with mental health problems during pregnancy and the first year of life, and their babies. We capture and share the work we do to inform and inspire those who commission and provide services across the UK.

This week you can join the conversation about maternal mental health on social media using the hashtag #maternalMHmatters. Find out what is happening each day on our website or by following @PMHPUK on Twitter or joining the Facebook group.

Maternal mental health is everyone’s business.