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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.
- 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.