Lindsay Robinson from PND blog Have You Seen That Girl sent this letter today to Michelle O'Neill (Health Minister), Paula Bradley (Chair of Health Committee) and Gary Middleton (Deputy Chair of Health Committee). Perinatal Mental Health care in Northern Ireland MUST be improved and here's some thoughts on how we can go about it.

To all concerned,

Let’s talk Mental Health! For the past four months I have been blogging about my struggle with, and recovery from, Postnatal Depression. Statistics suggest that as many as 10-15% mums also battle with it. That equates to thousands of women, in Northern Ireland, who struggle every year.

Written by Michelle Bradley


According to a confidential report by MBRRACE, released last December, almost a quarter of new mums who died during pregnancy or with the first year of childbirth, died from mental health related causes (usually suicide, domestic violence or substance misuse). A quarter. The kicker is, these deaths are preventable with the right treatment and early intervention.

If the women who died by suicide became ill in the UK today, 40% would not have access to mental health care. If those women came from Northern Ireland, a staggering 80% would not have access to mental health care. This is simply unacceptable. 

Please click here to sign the petition. Don't forget to share with family and friends!

Details of the petition:


We ask that the Executive addresses the serious lack of provisions for perinatal mental healthcare in Northern Ireland by dedicating funds to improve services, provide specialist perinatal community teams and open a specialist Mother & Baby Unit.

Why is this important?

- Research released last year revealed a staggering 80% of areas in Northern Ireland have no specialist perinatal mental health services and there is no specialist inpatient mother and baby unit in the whole of Ireland.

- In addition to the devastating consequences to the woman, untreated illness can have adverse effects on child development and long-term outcomes.

- There is also a heavy economic cost of perinatal mental illness to our society and public services. Research released last year 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.

- The extensive scientific evidence, as well as guidance from Nice and Sign show that this will need to include a new inpatient mother and baby unit and specialist perinatal community teams.

This is an open which was signed and sent by a group of health professional and experts outlining the needs for improved perinatal mental healthcare in Northern Ireland. 

8th Dec 2015

Dear Health Minister,

We are writing to warn of the dangers of current gaps in services in Northern Ireland for women with mental health problems during pregnancy or the postnatal period.

This report analyses how each of the party’s agendas address mental health and wellbeing regarding: Communities, Children and Young People, Housing and Homelessness, Multi Morbidities and Work (page references for each party manifesto are included).
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