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Details of the petition:

TO: NORTHERN IRELAND EXECUTIVE

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.

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