Quality maternal mental health services in ALL regions of the UK
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On the 20th of April the Maternal Mental Health Alliance released a map that indicated which areas of the UK had adequate services and access for mothers experiencing mental health problems. This map exposed the fact that 25% of the UK has no access to relevant and life saving services. Whilst the Perinatal Mental health community was astounded it appears that the figures have been widely overlooked and it is clear that not enough is being done to prevent further lives being lost due to poor mental health services for mothers.
More than 1 in 3 mothers will suffer from some form of mental health illness with pregnancy related mental health illness costing the NHS approximately £8billion a year. This then has a lasting impact on the women, their families and the children involved, it is simply not good enough that our government continues to fail these women.
We want to see Teresa May fulfill her promise to ‘use all her power’ to transform mental health care in the UK. We want to see pressure being applied to local MPs in those areas where women are still not receiving the support and treatment they need.
We want to see
•Accountability for perinatal mental health care clearly set out at a national level and complied with.
• Community specialist perinatal mental health teams meeting national quality standards should be available for women in every area of the UK.
• Training in perinatal mental health care should be delivered to all professionals involved in the care of women during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
It is time for this to be discussed now before any more lives are lost and any more mothers are forgotten. It is time for change and it is time for minimum requirements to be made nationally to ensure there is an end to the postcode lottery that is maternal mental health care.
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