1. ITV Report

Calls for specialist mother's mental health unit in Wales

Credit: PA

Mind Cymru is calling for specialist mother and baby units to be reinstated in Wales.

The last mother and baby unit in Wales closed in 2013 and since then mothers who need specialist support have had to travel to England.

With no support here in Wales, mothers are having to be treated many miles away from their families and support networks. It makes what is already a difficult situation for people considerably harder.

While community support is important, there are times when specialist in-patient care is necessary and at those times it’s simply not appropriate for women to be so far away from their families. While this isn’t a service that huge numbers of people need it’s unacceptable that those who do need it cannot access this support.

We know that Welsh Government are committed to providing better quality care for people with mental health problems in Wales, and we welcome the investment into community perinatal support. However, we are concerned that the delivery plan behind Together for Mental Health doesn’t go far enough in addressing the gaps in specialist perinatal care.

– Rhiannon Hedge, Policy and Campaigns Officer, Mind Cymru

Mother and Baby Units provide specialist care to women with mental health problems such as severe postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis.

Around 10-15 per cent of new mothers develop postnatal depression. It usually develops within six weeks of giving birth and can come on gradually or all of a sudden.

Charlotte Harding, from Cardiff, developed postpartum psychosis four years ago following the birth of her son.

Families in Wales are left to take care of mothers with severe postnatal depression by themselves. My husband had to take two years off work to look after me and our boys.

Having a mother and baby unit in Wales is vital for families but even more important for single mothers facing mental health problems alone.

– Charlott Harding