Post Natal Depression – an urgent NHS review needed

Lucie Holland, whose sister died while suffering from post-natal depression, is calling for an urgent review of postnatal depression treatment and care (and care for all perinatal mental illnesses), so every mother gets the help they need.

Lucie’s sister Emma had been under the care of the local Mental Health ‘Crisis Team’ before she died. This was not specialist peri-natal mental health care, but general ‘crisis’ mental health care. No one in that team was experienced enough in peri-natal care to understand or recognise how unwell Emma really was.

One in ten mothers experience some kind of postnatal depression. But research by the National Childbirth Trust has found only 50 out of 193 NHS trusts in England provide a specialist mental health service to women when they give birth.(1) With nearly 700,000 live births in England and Wales last year, this means of an estimated 70,000 women suffering from postnatal depression, only about 25% would have had access to the specialist care they need. This equates to 52,500 mothers a year being denied access to the specialist mental health care they need. (2)

If Emma had been referred to for specialist care she would have recovered. No child should be without his mother because of an illness which is treatable.

Please help make sure no other mother is left without care by signing Lucy’s petition here for an urgent review.

(1) http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/06/mothers-at-risk-as-nhs-fails-to-provide-postnatal-depression-care

(2) – http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/birth-summary-tables–england-and-wales/2013/info-births-2013.html

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