21st July 2017
The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) responds to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) report ‘Every mother must get the help they need’ report published this week. The report was inspired by the Change.org petition of Lucie Holland whose sister, Emma, died in tragic circumstances as a result of perinatal mental illness.
Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, executive director of the Institute of Health Visiting, said:
“The remarkable efforts of Lucie Holland and her family following Emma’s tragic death serve as a moral imperative for national commissioning bodies, and also for every commissioner at every local level, so that such a tragedy should never happen again. We need to broaden perceptions of mental health, so that all women and their families, and all health and social care professionals consider mental health equal to physical health.”
Lucie set up the petition in 2015 calling for better awareness and care for those affected by perinatal mental illness. Her petition received thousands of signatures and many people left heartfelt comments about their own experiences. The RCM collated and analysed all the comments to form the report ‘Every mother must get the help they need’.
Dr Adams continued:
“It is vital that all practitioners working alongside women and their families in the perinatal period are competent, confident and committed to ensuring that the right care, at the right time, is available in the right place for all women and their families. Specialist midwives and specialist health visitors should be in post at every local level as part of a comprehensive specialist perinatal mental health service offer. The Institute is committed to working in partnership with all agencies to achieve the highest standard of care all mothers and their families deserve.”