One in five mothers experience a mental illness during pregnancy or following birth. Suicide is the leading direct cause of maternal deaths occurring within a year after the end of pregnancy Confidential Inquiry into Maternal Deaths 2016.
Mental health problems in mothers, if left untreated can have a significant impact on the child’s emotional, social and cognitive development counting the costs. It is estimated 40% of women receive no treatment. Fewer than 15% of localities provide evidence based community perinatal services for women with severe or complex conditions. More than 40% provide no service at all, Centre for Mental Health and Royal College of General Practitioners Falling Through the Gaps.
The London School of Economics estimates The Costs of Perinatal Mental Health Problems at £8.1 billion for each annual birth cohort.