Category Archives: News

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Latest e-bulletin out now!

Latest e-bulletin out now!

The Everyone’s Business campaign e-bulletin is now out highlighting perinatal mental health commitments from national stakeholders at a ministerial roundtable, features on the devolved nations and more! See link below:

Everyone’s Business Autumn 2016 e-bulletin pdf

Please circulate far and wide and if you are on twitter please tweet the e-bulletin link using the #everyonesbusiness.

If you would like to receive the e-bulletins directly please sign up to our mailing list on the home page. (left hand side)


NHS England Funding

NHS England Launches Perinatal Mental Health Community Service Development Fund

NHS England has launched a Perinatal Mental Health Community Service Development Fund, to support service development and increase the availability of high-quality care and interventions for women, their babies and families. The fund will focus on expanding existing community teams into a wider geography or resourcing small teams with limited provision to meet the needs of local populations more comprehensively.

NHS Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprints are invited to submit funding proposals and plans for up to three years. This year £5 million is available, increasing to £15m in the subsequent two years. A second wave of proposals will also be funded from 2018/19.

Applicants are encouraged to work in conjunction with their local Perinatal Mental Health Clinical Network and the closing date for proposals is Friday 16th September 2016, 5pm.

Detailed guidance and an application form is available at here.

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Evaluation and Funding

MMHA Everyone’s Business campaign – Independent Evaluation Report launches today and funding announcement!

Independent Evaluation Report

Has the MMHA Everyone’s Business campaign* made a difference and how? Where should the campaign put its energy going forward? How do we collectively maintain the pressure to ensure all women and families urgently receive the right perinatal mental health care at the right time?

An Independent Evaluation Report of the MMHA Everyone’s Business campaign, launching today, addresses these, and other, questions – showing the substantial impact the campaign has had; the reasons for the impact, and where the campaign will need to focus in the future.

The report is expected to be useful to all organisations and individuals involved in maternal mental health: having a collective understanding of what has helped to drive the change to date, as well as potential next steps, will be crucial as we continue to push for the ongoing changes urgently called for.

Please help us to disseminate the report’s key findings as widely as possible:

2 page briefing paper, with a summary of the report’s main findings

Copy of the full independent report by Gillian Granville Associates and WSA Community Consultants

Funding Announcement

The Everyone’s Business Campaign team are delighted and would like to say a huge thank you to Comic Relief for the following funding announcement:

Top line MMHA Everyone’s Business funding news

A grant of £750,000 has been secured from Comic Relief. This is intended to:
• sustain and build on the momentum of the first Phase of the Everyone’s Business Campaign
• increase the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s internal resource and capacity

The grant will continue to be hosted by Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) on behalf of the MMHA

*The Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s Everyone’s Business campaign 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. The three year campaign (2013 –2016) has been funded by Comic Relief and is hosted by Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP).

£1.5m perinatal mental health care help for women in Wales

£1.5m perinatal mental health care help for women in Wales

The Welsh Government has pledged a total of £7.5 million (£1.5m per year over 5 years) to improve mental health outcomes for women with perinatal illnesses, their babies and other children. Members of the campaign team met with Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford and are keen to actively support this encouraging initiative. The main proportion of funding will support the development of multidisciplinary networked services and robust pathways at all levels across Wales with some Health Boards setting up specific perinatal special interest groups for service development.

More news here:



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Fern Britton joins mums and dads to speak out about Maternal Mental Health for Sport Relief


  • More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby
  • Join the conversation from 11am on Twitter @SportRelief using #MumTalk 
  • Sport Relief cash to help people affected by maternal mental health problems


As part of a series of new short films produced by Sport Relief, TV presenter Fern Britton will share her experience of maternal mental health alongside other mums and dads from across the UK, who have also been affected, on Wednesday 24th February.

The films will be shared on Sport Relief’s Twitter feed to shine a light on maternal mental illness in the UK and help to reduce stigma around the issue. The public will also be encouraged to share their stories and talk about their own experiences. Members of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, which benefits from Sport Relief cash, will be responding during the day to any people looking for advice or support.

By going to @SportRelief on the day, the nation will gain a unique insight into an issue that affects as many as 1 in 10 women yet is still a big taboo and not talked about openly. Many women feel completely alone and too embarrassed to share their true feelings, with 7 in 10 women affected hiding or downplaying their symptoms.

Without understanding, support, and treatment these mental illnesses have a devastating impact on the women affected and on their partners and families. However, with the right help at the right time women affected by maternal mental health problems do get better.

By giving women and men a platform to speak out about maternal mental illness, Sport Relief hopes to highlight what help is out there, and encourage more people affected to seek the support they need to recover.

Cash raised through Sport Relief has been helping to fund maternal mental health projects in the UK since 2010. These projects include the Bluebell Care Trust in Bristol, and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s ‘Everyone’s Business’ campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of maternal mental health issues at a national level and is helping women and families across the UK to access specialist support.

The contributors featuring in the films have been helped through Bluebell Care Trust and member organisations of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

Fern Britton said: “Everyone tells you that having a baby is going to be perfect, so you try to be the perfect mum. However, you’re not blooming at all, you’re blooming awful. I was lonely, isolated and frightened. I felt lost, like a failure and I couldn’t identify with who I was anymore. When the doctor told me what I was feeling was Postnatal Depression it was so liberating, I felt such a sense of relief that I wasn’t going mad. Once my family knew, I started to get better. Once I could talk to my family and they understood, it was a wonderful feeling.”

The minute I said the words to someone, help it was there for me. If I had known how easy it was to get help I would have told someone sooner. Having been through this and getting better myself I would urge any mum who might be feeling in a dark place to tell someone – don’t wait! If you tell someone, you will get help, and you will get better.”

The day is being supported by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, Bluebell Care Trust, the Royal College of General Practitioners, MIND, Channel Mum who are following the stories @SportRelief and sharing their own views and insight using #MumTalk.

Dr Alain Gregoire, Perinatal Psychiatrist and Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance said: “Being a parent is the most difficult thing any of us ever does and when we go through difficult times we need other people, but if we are not mentally well, we feel alone. Knowing you are not alone, that other people care and want to help, and knowing that if you speak out about how you are feeling you will get help, are crucial steps to recovery. Through this day of activity, Sport Relief is giving every one of us the opportunity to help mums and dads who are suffering from mental health problems at this critical time in their lives”

Sport Relief is back from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March and there are more ways than ever for you to take part, change lives and feel proud. The money raised will transform people’s lives in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities, including people affected by maternal mental health problems.



Sport Relief Media Team:

020 7820 2500

Out of hours 07984 510 473

Notes to editors

About Sport Relief

Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help people living incredibly tough lives, across the UK and the world’s poorest communities.  It all leads up to the Sport Relief weekend and a fantastic night of TV on the BBC.

Sport Relief 2016 will take place from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March 2016. You can run, swim, cycle or even walk yourself proud at events across the country. There’s a distance for everyone, whether you’re sporty or not. Find out more at



Great start to 2016

Perinatal Mental Health Services – encouraging support.

The start of 2016 has seen a huge surge of interest in Perinatal Mental Health in many different arenas. There has been a storm of media coverage, renewed significant parliamentary commitment and promised funds from Government, all focused on specialist perinatal mental health care.

When questioned about how the pledged extra investment would be spent, Alistair Burt MP, the Minister of State for the Department of Health said:

“The additional significant investment in perinatal mental health totalling £350 million from 2016/17- 2020/21, together with the recommendations of the forthcoming report of the independent Mental Health Taskforce, will enable NHS England to design a broader five year transformation programme to build capacity and capability in specialist perinatal mental health services, with the aim of enabling women in all areas of England to access care that is in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines by 2020/21.

 “Work is underway to lay the foundations for this longer-term work through targeted funding of activities to build capacity in specialist services. This will include, for example, a £1 million investment in strengthening clinical networks across the country. It is also expected to include developing clinical leadership capacity and training for the perinatal workforce to build the skills and capabilities within specialist teams.

“NHS England will work with partners, including Health Education England, over the coming months, to develop the five-year programme for improving specialist perinatal mental health services.”

Source: Hansard 29th January


Burt also referred to the prominent story featured currently in the major BBC1 soap EastEnders, saying:

I agree that the Alliance is right to draw attention to this and I want our response to be better than it has been in the past. It’s great that EastEnders is raising awareness of this very important issue and it makes for some harrowing scenes to watch. Having a baby is a major life event and we want all new and expectant mums to get the mental health support they need. That’s why we are spending an extra £350million on perinatal mental health services over the next five years.

“We have specialist Mother and Baby units across the country that allow women to stay with their babies while they get the psychiatric care they need, and we have trained midwives and health visitors to be able to spot the signs of perinatal mental illness. The investment we’ve made will help us make sure all women get the right support, at the right time, regardless of where they live.”

The Eastenders storyline focuses primarily on a family’s fight to get a mother a place in a Mother and Baby Unit after she is admitted without her newborn baby to an adult psychiatric ward when suffering Postpartum Psychosis. We thank the Eastenders team and the Alliance members who have worked closely together to ensure the filming was true and accurate. The soap has been instrumental in both raising understanding and awareness of this condition.

Mental Health Taskforce announcement

In addition to the announcements regarding the extra parliamentary spend in Perinatal Mental Health care, it was made public on Monday 15th Feb that an extra £1 billion per year would be released into mental health services by the year 2020. Maternal mental health is also detailed in this announcement:

One in five mothers suffer from mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth. It costs around £8.1 billion for each annual birth cohort or almost £10,000 per birth. Yet fewer than 15% of areas have the necessary perinatal mental health services and more than 40% provide none at all.  New funding should be invested to support at least 30,000 more women each year to access evidence-based specialist mental health care in the perinatal period.”

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP said:

We have made monumental strides in the way we think about and treat mental illness in this country in the last few decades — from a society that locks people away in asylums to one giving mental health equal priority in law.

“But we must accelerate progress even further. Our shared vision of a seven-day mental health service means people will get the care they need, when they need it, and will help us do much more to prevent mental illness in the first place. We will work across Government and with the NHS to make the recommendations in this landmark report a reality, so that we truly deliver equality between mental and physical health.”

For further detail about the announcement please click here.

National Institute of Health and Care Excellence – Quality standards Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health

Thursday 18th February also saw the launch of the new NICE Quality Standards for Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health, click here for further details.




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£75m over 5 years

Budget announcement today supports mothers with perinatal mental health problems.

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance -Everyone’s Business campaign welcomes the £75 million over 5 years allocated to perinatal mental health services following George Osborne’s announcement today, as well as the acknowledgement of the unmet mental health needs of pregnant women and new mothers. We look forward to working with the Government to explore the further details in how this new money will be spent.

Although this funding is a vital first step, it is important to note that this allocation can only lay the foundations for the future investment still needed for improved and equitable access to services for all pregnant women and new mothers. The facts still remain:

  • More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or the first year after having a baby
  • 7 in 10 women hide or underplay the severity of their illness
  • Suicide is a leading cause of death for women during pregnancy and in the year after giving birth
  • All women in the UK have access to specialist physical health care in pregnancy and postnatally, but most women do not have access to specialist perinatal mental health care at this critical time. See maps for further details.

The announcement today highlights the importance to the nation of perinatal mental health, but this is only a first step towards the access to specialist perinatal mental health care all women across the country should have – in line with national guidance. The NHS and all Clinical Commissioning Groups must now take urgent action to ensure all women have access to safe care for their mental health during pregnancy and postnatally.

Click here to view the MMHA #everyonesbusiness campaign Call to Act which clearly defines how equitable specialist perinatal mental health services can be made possible and by when.

For further information, interviews with experts and ex-patients, please contact Maria Bavetta 07807 130878

Full Economic Report - perinatal mental health

The Times – featured letter

Letter to The Times Editor

On Monday 20th October 2014, The Times published a letter signed by 70 leading academics highlighting concerns about gaps in services for women with mental health problems during the perinatal period – please see below:

Dear Sir,

We are writing to warn of the dangers of current gaps in services for women with mental health problems during pregnancy or postnatal period. Research released earlier this year shows that there are no specialist NHS perinatal mental health services in nearly half of areas in the UK and many regions have no specialist inpatient Mother and Baby Units. These gaps have important implications for the wellbeing of women and their families.

Maternal mental illness is common, affecting more than 10 percent of new mothers. It can also be severe, with suicide a leading cause of maternal death. In addition to the devastating consequences to the woman, untreated illness can have adverse effects on child development and long-term outcomes. Many of these problems can be avoided if maternal mental health problems are identified early and treated effectively but sadly too many women still do not receive the care they need.

Today, a new report reveals the heavy economic cost of perinatal mental illness to our society and public services. It shows that the long-term costs to society of perinatal mental illness are more than £8bn for each annual cohort of births in the UK. Nearly three quarters of this cost results from the adverse impacts of perinatal mental illness on the child.

We urge UK governments to do more to tackle the harm caused by maternal mental illnesses. They must hold national and local commissioners to account for the current lack of provision. The costs of perinatal mental illness – both human and economic – are too high to ignore this important issue.

Professor Debra Bick

Professor of Evidence Based Midwifery

King’s College, London


Professor Leon Feinstein

Visiting Professor at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion

London School of Economics


Professor Peter Fonagy

Chief Executive, The Anna Freud Centre

Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology

University College London


Professor Vivette Glover

Professor of Perinatal Psychobiology

Imperial College London


Professor Ian Jones

Director, National Centre for Mental Health

Cardiff University


Professor Alan Stein

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

University of Oxford


Professor Terence Stephenson

Chair, UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges


Professor Kathryn M. Abel

Professor of Psychological Medicine

The University of Manchester


Dr Cheryll Adams,


Institute of Health Visiting


Dr Catherine Angell

Senior Academic for Midwifery

Bournemouth University


Dr Cathy Ashwin

Honorary Asst. Professor

University of Nottingham


Professor Jane Barlow

Professor of Public Health in the Early Years

Warwick University


Dr Sue Barker

Lecturer in Mental Health nursing

Cardiff University


Dr Giles Berrisford

Chair Action on Postpartum Psychosis and Honorary Senior Lecturer

University of Birmingham


Dr Roch Cantwell

Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist

University of Glasgow


Elaine Clark

Chair of Scottish Perinatal Mental Health Forum


Dr FlorianaCoccia

Honorary Senior Lecturer and Senior Academy Tutor

University of Birmingham


Professor John Cox

Professor Emeritus

Keele University


Professor Nick Craddock

Professor of Psychiatry

Cardiff University


Dr Michael C. Craig

Senior Lecturer & Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Kings College London


Emeritus Professor Dame Sarah Cowley,

Academic Health Visitor

King’s College London


Dr Paola Dazzan

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN)

King’s College London


Dr Arianna Di Florio

Research Fellow in Perinatal Mental Health

Cardiff University


Dr Jonathan Evans

Senior Lecturer

University of Bristol


Professor Charles Fernyhough

Department of Psychology

Durham University


Professor David Foreman

Visiting Professor

Royal Holloway, University of London


Dr Alain Gregoire

Chair, Maternal Mental Health Alliance

Southampton University


Dr Ben Hannigan

Reader in Mental Health Nursing

Cardiff University


Dr Jessica Heron

Senior Research Fellow in Perinatal Psychiatry

University of Birmingham


Professor Pat Hoddinott

Chair in Primary Care

Stirling University


Professor Kerry Hood

Director South East Wales Trials Unit

Cardiff University


Professor Louise Howard

NIHR Research Professor; Professor in Women’s Mental Health & Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London


Professor Vanora Hundley

Professor of Midwifery, Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

Bournemouth University


Professor Billie Hunter

RCM Professor of Midwifery

Cardiff University


John Hyde

Associate Lecturer Mental Health

Cardiff University


Dr Lisa Jones

Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry

University of Birmingham


Dr Ann John

Associate Professor

Swansea University


Professor Sally Kendall

Director, Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care

School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire


Professor Nancy Loucks

Centre for Law, Crime & Justice

University of Strathclyde.


Professor Christine MacArthur

Professor of Maternal and Child Epidemiology

University of Birmingham


Professor Alan Maryon-Davis

Chair, Best Beginnings, Hon Professor of Public Health

Department of Primary Care & Public Health Sciences

Kings College, London


Professor Elizabeth Meins

Department of Psychology

University of York


Dr R. Hamish McAllister-Williams

Reader in Clinical Psychopharmacology

Newcastle University


Dr Liz McDonald

Chair of Perinatal Faculty

Royal College of Psychiatrists


Dr Kirstie McKenzie-McHarg

Consultant Clinical Psychologist Honorary Research Fellow

City University


Professor Helen Minnis,

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

University of Glasgow


Professor Derek Moore

Director of Institute for Research in Child Development

University of East London


Sarah Morton

Co-Director, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships

University of Edinburgh


Dr Heather O’Mahen,

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

University of Exeter.


Dr Magaret Oates OBE

Clinical Director, East Midlands Strategic Clinical Network, NHS England.


Dr ShantiniParanjothy

Clinical Senior Lecturer in Public Health Medicine

Cardiff University


Professor Carmine Pariante

Professor of Biological Psychiatry

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London


Dr Susan Pawlby

Lecturer and Developmental Psychologist

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London


Professor Stavros Petrou

Professor of Health Economics

The University of Warwick


Dr. Moira Plant

Emerita Professor of Alcohol Studies

University of the West of England


Dr Christine Puckering

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

University of Glasgow


Professor Mary Renfrew

Professor of Mother and Infant Health

University of Dundee


Professor Jane Sandall

Professor of Women’s Health

King’s College London


Dr Julia Sanders

Reader and Consultant Midwife,

Cardiff University


Dr Judy Shakespeare

RCGP Clinical Champion in Perinatal Mental Health


Professor Debbie Sharp

Professor of Primary Health Care

University of Bristol


Dr Helen Sharp

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

University of Liverpool


Professor Pauline Slade

Professor of Clinical Psychology

Chair Faculty of Perinatal Psychology for the British Psychological Society

University of Liverpool


Professor Mary Target

Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology

University College London


Professor Julie Taylor

Director, Child Protection Research Centre

University of Edinburgh


Grace Thomas

Professional Head of Midwifery and Lead Midwife for Education

Cardiff University


Professor EssiViding

Professor of Developmental Psychopathology

University College London


Dr Pamela Warner

Centre for Research on Families & Relationships,

University of Edinburgh


Professor Cathy Warwick OBE

Chief Executive

Royal College of Midwives


Dr Angelika Weick

Honorary Senior Lecturer

University of Manchester


Professor Phil Wilson

Professor of primary care and rural health

University of Aberdeen


Dr Anja Wittkowski

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

University of Manchester


Dr Julie Wray

Senior Lecturer School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Science, University of Salford


£8billion cost

Failure to fully address mental health problems in pregnancy and following childbirth costs over £8 billion, report finds

Perinatal mental health problems carry a total economic and social long-term cost to society of about £8.1 billion for each one-year cohort of births in the UK, according to a new report ‘The costs of perinatal mental health problems’ released today by the London School of Economics and Centre for Mental Health.

However the report also finds that the NHS would need to spend just £337 million a year to bring perinatal mental health care up to the level recommended in national guidance.

The report is part of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s ‘Everyone’s Business’ campaign (, which calls on Governments and local health commissioners to ensure that all women throughout the UK who experience perinatal mental health problems, receive the care they and their families need, wherever and whenever they need it.

Launching officially in Parliament on Tuesday 21st October, the report finds that the costs of mental health problems among women in pregnancy are far greater than previously thought; the cost to the public sector of perinatal mental health problems is five times greater than the cost of providing the services that are needed throughout the United Kingdom.

‘The costs of perinatal mental health problems’ finds that:

• Perinatal depression, anxiety and psychosis together carry a total long-term cost to society of about £8.1 billion for each one-year cohort of births in the UK.

• Nearly three-quarters (72%) of this cost relates to adverse impacts on the child rather than the mother.

• Over a fifth of total costs (£1.7 billion) are borne by the public sector, with the bulk of these falling on the NHS and social services (£1.2 billion).

• Other costs include loss of earnings/impact on someone’s ability to work and quality of life affects.

There is clear guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other national bodies on the treatment of mental illness during and after pregnancy. Yet the current provision is best described as patchy, with significant variations in coverage around the country:

• About half of all cases of perinatal depression and anxiety go undetected and many of those which are detected fail to receive evidence-based forms of treatment.

• Specialist perinatal mental health services are needed for women with complex or severe conditions, but less than 15% of localities provide these at the full level recommended in national guidance and more than 40% provide no service at all.

Perinatal mental health problems are common and costly. They affect up to 20% of women at some point during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth and are a major public health issue impacting on both women and baby. The good news is that women recover when they get the right treatment. It is vital that all women, wherever they live get the specialist help they need.”
Dr Alain Gregoire, Maternal Mental Health Alliance Chair

Every baby in the UK deserves to have the best possible start in life. Supporting perinatal mental health within a parent infant relationship is critical to lifelong health and happiness for every child.”
Andrea Leadsom MP for South Northamptonshire

Our findings show that mothers’ mental health is vital to the economy and to society as a whole, particularly because of the potential negative impact that untreated maternal mental health problems may have on children. In order to protect the family’s long-term health, intervention needs to start before the child is born, or shortly after because the potential benefits are very high and the costs could be fully recovered in a short time frame
Annette Bauer, LSE’s Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) – lead author of the report

This report shows there can be no more excuses: national and local authorities, commissioners and governments must act now to ensure specialist perinatal mental health services (in line with national guidelines) are available throughout the UK. Only then can we expect to fully reduce any tragically avoidable human and economic costs.”
Emily Slater, Everyone’s Business Campaign Manager

The costs of perinatal mental health problems report is available below:

Embargoed 20th Oct Summary of Economic Report – costs of Perinatal Mental Health problems

Embargoed 20th Oct Final Economic Report – costs of perinatal mental health problems







Shocking gaps in UK maternal mental health services

Shocking gaps in UK maternal mental health services

#everyonesbusiness campaign launched today

Pregnant women and new mothers across almost half of the UK do not have access to specialist perinatal mental health services, potentially leaving them and their babies at risk, according to data to be released today (8 July).1

Maps highlighting the gaps in provision will be published today by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance to mark the launch of its #everyonesbusiness campaign.2 & 3

The Alliance of professional bodies, patient organisations and charities, is warning that women who develop a perinatal mental illness are missing out on essential and potentially lifesaving care.

More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby, and if left untreated these illnesses can have a devastating impact on women and their families. In the most serious cases, perinatal mental illness can be life threatening: suicide is one of the leading causes of death for women during pregnancy and one year after birth.

Perinatal mental health services provide specialist care for women who become ill during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth.

Dr Alain Gregoire, Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, said:

“The figures released today are an embarrassment for the NHS. Pregnancy and the first postnatal year are a critical time, with multiple pressures, demands and responsibilities, when women and their families should receive the best quality care. Specialist perinatal mental health services have the expertise to treat illnesses that particularly affect new mothers, and understand how to minimise the impact of mental illness on the woman’s pregnancy or developing baby. Yet in almost half of the UK women still have no access to community specialist perinatal mental health services.  We would be horrified if there were no maternity hospitals, and general surgeons were doing caesarean sections in large parts of the country.  Equitable access to specialist care for women’s mental health at this time is just as important and the NHS has a responsibility to ensure that this is available.”

The #everyonesbusiness campaign, is calling for the services needed to improve the lives of all women throughout the UK who experience perinatal mental health problems, and will provide the key information and tools to support commissioners and service providers to make the necessary improvements.

To mark the launch of the campaign, the Department of Health will today host a meeting of Ministers responsible for Maternity, and Care and Support services and senior NHS representatives to examine the current situation and plan further action. Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said:

“It is vital that women receive the specialist care they need and this campaign is right to highlight the importance of maternal mental health. Healthcare systems across the globe have prioritised physical over mental health in maternity for too long.  We are making sure that all midwives receive mandatory training in perinatal mental health, so there are specialist staff available in every birthing unit. Readjusting this balance and making fast progress really is Everyone’s Business.”

  1. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has conducted an audit of specialist perinatal mental health services across the United Kingdom – the campaign’s website features detailed maps of the United Kingdom, illustrating the gaps in these services.
  2. The Maternal Mental Health Alliance is a coalition of over sixty UK professional and patient led organisations committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of women and their children in pregnancy and the first postnatal year.
  3. The Everyone’s Business Campaign, funded by Comic Relief, calls for:
  • Accountability for perinatal mental health care to be clearly set at a national level and complied with.
  • Community specialist perinatal mental health services meeting national quality standards are available for women in every area of the UK.
  • Training in perinatal mental health is delivered to all professionals involved in the care of women during pregnancy and the first year after birth.

EMBARGOED 8th July – Call to ACT