Call to ACT
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s new campaign – Everyone’s Business – calls for all women throughout the UK who experience perinatal mental health problems to receive the care they and their families need, wherever and whenever they need it.
To achieve this goal, the campaign will focus on three priorities over the next three years:
Accountability for perinatal mental health care is clearly set at a national level and complied with.
Perinatal mental health is not an identified ministerial responsibility at present, and is not supported by a national strategy. Currently, there is an estimated shortfall of 60 specialist inpatient mother and baby unit beds across the UK, which is where a woman with a severe perinatal mental illness at risk of harming herself or others would receive support. In Wales and Northern Ireland, there is none. National strategies need to rectify this shortfall now.
Community specialist perinatal mental health teams meeting national quality standards are available for women in every area of the UK.
Many areas of the UK do not have local plans or strategies in place to make sure specialist perinatal mental health services are available to women who need them. This is despite excellent models showing that these specialist services are necessary and possible.
Training in perinatal mental health care is delivered to all professionals involved in the care of women during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
Scotland is the only UK nation to have a perinatal mental health training curriculum for people working in healthcare. A similar curriculum across all UK nations would help to guide the development and coordination of the training that’s needed. This includes the setting of training standards by professional bodies and the development of appropriate training packages.