NCT is today partnering with parents in Wales to demand better mental health support and urge the National Welsh Assembly to reinstate the country’s only designated Mother and Baby unit.
Over 25 mums and dads will be attending an event at Tŷ Hywel and sharing their personal experiences of perinatal mental health issues with Assembly Members to raise the importance of adequate mental health services for expectant and new parents.
Mind Cymru research shows 1 in 3 parents in Wales suffer from anxiety or depression in the first year after having a baby and if left untreated, perinatal mental health issues can have a devastating impact on families.
Research across the UK has also shown that ignoring the problem could cost the Government five times more than investing in perinatal mental health services in Wales .
NCT Senior Policy Adviser, Elizabeth Duff said: “Mother and Baby units are vitally important as they enable mums and babies to remain together at a crucial time in the bonding process even when the mother is seriously ill.
“New mothers with severe mental health concerns are currently being placed in a no-win situation in Wales. They must either travel – sometimes hundreds of miles – for treatment with their new baby or be treated nearer to home but separated from their baby.
“This situation is unacceptable and the availability of adequate mental health support for new parents must be made an urgent priority.”
The event is also supported by a Thunderclap campaign that aims to amplify the message that parents’ mental health matters and builds on NCT’s ongoing #BeyondBabyBlues campaign.
NCT applauds the work currently being undertaken within Wales to better support the mental health of new and expectant parents and their babies, in particular the National Assembly’s commitment to recruit perinatal mental health specialists to work in the community.
NCT is looking to work with the Welsh National Assembly to develop solutions that prioritise the mental health of all parents.