The independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England publishes its report today – The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

The taskforce gives a frank assessment of the state of current mental health care across the NHS, highlighting that one in four people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime and the cost of mental ill-health to the economy, NHS and society is £105bn a year.

In response to this report, NHS England  has committed to the biggest transformation of mental health care across the NHS in a generation, pledging to help more than a million extra people and investing more than a billion pounds a year by 2020/21.

Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the iHV, said:

“The Institute very much welcomes this wide ranging report and hopes that indeed it will attract the promised funding of £1billion.  We are very pleased that perinatal mental health has again been singled out as a mental health priority.”

One in five mothers suffers from mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth. It costs around £8.1 billion for each annual birth cohort or almost £10,000 per birth. Yet fewer than 15% of areas have the necessary perinatal mental health services and more than 40% provide none at all.

The report suggests that new funding should be invested to support at least 30,000 more women each year to access evidence-based specialist mental health care in the perinatal period.