Donna Collins – Managing Director for the PANDAS Foundation (Pre and Postnatal Depression Advise and Support) explains what this means for mums and families in England:
“We are delighted to hear this exciting news released this morning. The initial investment in 20 areas of the UK will mean that a significantly higher proportion of the population will have access to the services they so desperately need. We have been calling for this for the last 5 years, and this is an important and necessary step in the right direction.
We have seen a disproportionate rise in the numbers of people accessing our support, suggesting that our collective message is indeed getting out there, but this raises questions on the reality of numbers of people currently affected by perinatal mental health illnesses. The new recommended standard for anyone walking through the doors of A&E or a mental health ward are very welcomed, and we believe that this will be a pivotal moment in identifying those in need, facilitating a faster, more appropriate care plan within a more acceptable timescale.”
Donna Collins goes on to say
“This closely mirrors the peer support that PANDAS currently offer, we provide access to helplines, email and online support and so we are excited to learn of the NHS’s plan to expand upon this valuable service. We are regularly told how imperative it is by our families that it is important to be able to talk, and that this aided recovery. This is evidenced by the survey PANDAS commissioned earlier this year which discovered that 43% said that peer support in some form was integral to their recovery.”
The news that NHS England is commissioning four new mother and baby units (MBU’s) is also very welcome, the PANDAS Foundation are very pleased to be working along side the Maternal Mental Health Alliance in support of this. We still have a long way to go, but this is certainly a big step in the right direction, and we would hope that funding continues to be pledged in this manner, so that together we are all able to make a lasting impact for all of those affected by perinatal mental health illness.”