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Maternity, Children and Young People Programme - March 2019

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Maternity update from Heather Johnstone, Programme Director for the Maternity Transformation Programme

I’m delighted that the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Maternity Transformation Programme has launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness and destigmatising perinatal mental health issues.

Increasing the provision of perinatal mental health services is a key part of the programme, and this campaign will go some way in helping signpost people to the services that can help them.

Perinatal mental health issues can affect almost anybody. It is estimated that around 1 in 10 pregnant women or mothers suffer from perinatal mental health issues at some point. It can also affect men too.

It can be exhibited through anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), low mood, panic disorders or psychosis. It can make you feel sad, withdrawn and isolated from partners, family members and other mums, putting unnecessary pressure on individuals to be the perfect parent.

Alongside the great work that is being carried out locally by mental health service providers, we're working to increase the level of support that is available and raise awareness of what is an important issue in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

More information about perinatal mental health, the support available locally and the wider campaign is available on Together We're Better's perinatal mental health web page here.

Included on the page is a short film that explores the potential impact of perinatal mental health issues. The future campaign will feature posters and short films that seek to highlight the signs, symptoms and treatment available for people who are showing signs of a perinatal mental health issue.