Today (7th March) Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse will introduce a Bill to improve mental health care for new mothers.
To mark International Women’s Day, Wera Hobhouse is launching her campaign to require routine six week National Health Service post-natal check-ups to include mental health assessments.
Ms Hobhouse said:
“It is extremely worrying that nearly half of new mothers who have experienced mental health or emotional issues have not had their problem identified by a health professional or received any help or treatment.
“Postnatal mental health issues are not a new phenomenon and are not uncommon. It’s time to remove the stigma, encourage new mothers to discuss their emotional well-being, and provide them with the mental health support they need.
“That is why, one year on from introducing my Bill to make upskirting illegal, I am introducing this legislation to ensure women are getting proper mental health advice and treatment as part of their six week new mother check-up. To allow mental health to be sidelined is a dereliction of duty of care to both new mothers and their babies.”
Commenting on his full support for this bill, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson for the West Midlands, Lee Dargue, said:
“I’m proud that, once again, it is Liberal Democrats who are leading the way in improving mental health health services. Perinatal mental health is one of the most under-funded areas and it needs desperate investment.
“We have long fought for mental health to be considered with equal importance as with physical health, so these simple, but vital additional checks, can help a new mother ensure that she gets the support she needs.
“Becoming a new mother can be be a joyous occasion, but it can come as a struggle with new mental and physical health demands. We must ensure that all mothers receive the best care, to ensure that their needs are met, and help give their babies the best start in life.”
Notes to editors:
Wera Hobhouse’s Bill will have its first reading on Thursday 7th March.
Short title – Postnatal Check-ups (Mental Health) Bill
Long title – A Bill to require routine six week National Health Service check-ups for new mothers to include mental health assessments and advice; and for connected purposes.