A report collated this week by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) has revealed shocking gaps in the NHS provided mental health services for new mothers. Research conducted by the MMHA and published in an article written by The Guardian described the lack of dedicated services as

“An embarrassment for the NHS” and a cause of alarm, given that, if left untreated, such problems could have devastating effects.”

Statistics from the National Childbirth Trust agree with the findings of the MMHA, explaining that 1 in 10 new mothers experience post-natal depression. In a quote given to the BBC, the Trust said

“Just 3% of clinical commissioning groups had a peri-natal mental health strategy in place. Of those CCGs with no strategy in place, 60% said they had no plans to establish one. (Its research was based on freedom of information requests to 194 CCGs.)”

NHS England’s national clinical director for maternity and women’s health, Dr Catherine Calderwood, responded to the BBC by explaining

“Postnatal depression is a very lonely and distressing experience and it is important that women suffering from it receive the support and treatment they need. “While across the country there are many good examples of high quality support for postnatal depression, the level of service is still too varied and local commissioners need to ensure that the support they provide for women meets the highest standards.”

There is an old proverb that tells us that it takes a whole village to raise a child. We believe that it also takes a village to support that child’s mother. Please get in touch to find out how you can create a mental health friendly environment in your church or organisation, and support new mothers in desperate need of care.