A new report by the London School of Economics and Centre for Mental Health has revealed for the first time the cost of failing to properly address perinatal mental health problems. The costs of perinatal mental health problems, released today, says that for all the births in one year the long-term economic and social cost to society is over £8 billion.
The report has been produced as part of a campaign by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s, of which Mind is a member. The ‘Everyone’s Business’ campaign calls for all women throughout the UK who experience perinatal mental health problems to receive the care they and their families need, wherever and whenever they need it.
Paul Farmer, Mind’s Chief Executive, said:
“We welcome this report, which sets out for the first time both the enormous economic fall-out of failing to properly support pregnant women and new mothers, and the huge impact of delivering the right intervention at the right time. This report demonstrates that supporting perinatal mental health is a no-brainer, not just because it’s the right thing to do but because it leads to better outcomes that in turn make good financial sense.
“Over the last two years Mind has set up pilot projects supporting pregnant women to build strong supportive social networks and develop new coping strategies to reduce their risk of developing a postnatal mental health problem. These pilots are already providing strong evidence that low-cost programmes can really work. We hope that this report provides the incentive for the NHS to address the huge gaps in perinatal services and make sure pregnant women and new mums get all the help and support they need.”
Two in Mind is a new project for mums, dads and their babies living in Wales to help support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of new families during pregnancy and the first year of the baby's life.