West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership will next week (12 July 2021) launch a campaign to raise awareness amongst mums, their families and friends about perinatal mental health problems.
Perinatal mental health (PMH) problems occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions.
If left untreated, mental health issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on the woman, the child, and the wider family. Specialist PMH services provide care and treatment for women with complex mental health needs and support the developing relationship between parent and baby. They also offer women with mental health needs advice for planning a pregnancy.
The new campaign will run across West Yorkshire and Harrogate for three months and will include advertisements on social media and signposting information to the GP, health visitor and midwifery services that can help.
The NHS Five Year Forward View for Mental Health aims to ensure that by 2023/24, at least 66,000 women in England with moderate/complex to severe PMH difficulties can access care and support in the community, and this work in West Yorkshire and Harrogate is part of that commitment.
Dr Sara Munro, CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism; and CEO for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Our campaign is designed to raise awareness in all communities and especially in poorer areas and among people from ethnic minorities as we know these women often suffer in silence in spite of help being available. We want women and their families to feel less concerned about stigma and realise that it’s not uncommon to not feel ok when you’re pregnant or have just had a baby and to know how to access help and support.
We have services all over West Yorkshire and Harrogate so our message to women is – speak to your GP, your midwife or your health visitor about how you’re feeling and they will be able to help you without judgment.”