#MumTalk day shines light on maternal mental health

The charity Sports Relief is sharing a series of new short films on its Twitter feed today to shine a light on maternal mental illness in the UK and help to reduce stigma around the issue. Members of the public are also being encouraged to share their stories and talk about their own experiences.

Members of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, which benefits from Sport Relief cash, will be responding during the day to any people looking for advice or support.

By going to @SportRelief the nation will gain a unique insight into an issue that affects as many as 1 in 10 women yet is still a big taboo and not talked about openly. Many women feel completely alone and too embarrassed to share their true feelings, with 7 in 10 women affected hiding or downplaying their symptoms.

Dr Helen Sharp, Chair of the BPS Faculty of Perinatal Clinical Psychology, says:

“Our members work in maternity services, mother and baby units, specialist community perinatal mental health teams and parent-infant mental health services providing high quality psychological therapies for women and their families during pregnancy and the postnatal period. They see, all too often, the struggles women have gone through alone, before feeling able to seek help or being able to access appropriate psychological treatments.

“Sport Relief is shining a welcome light on maternal mental health today and it is sending a clear message to women and their families that help is out there and the situation is improving.

“We also fully support the work of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s ‘Everyone’s Business’ campaign, funded by Sport Relief monies, which has been making great strides in raising awareness of the importance of maternal mental health issues and the need for broader NHS perinatal service provision at a national level.”