May 3, 2023
Government must provide mental health supports for Mothers – Mark Ward TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has joined calls made by mental health specialists in the campaign to help women to talk, connect and be empowered in their mental health during and after pregnancies. 

Teachta Ward was speaking after the launch of the HSE campaign on World Maternal Mental Health Day, a day that is used to raise awareness for mental health during and up to one year after pregnancy.

Teachta Ward said:

“I am very happy to join in the HSE campaign to raise awareness about perinatal mental health.

“The period during and up to one year after a pregnancy can be a very happy one for parents but it can also be a period that brings mental health issues, affecting up to one in five women.

“This campaign aims to help women to talk about their experiences, connect with other women and families and to empower them to look after their mental health.

“There is still no specialist perinatal inpatient unit on the island of Ireland. I alongside my Sinn Féin colleague in the north, Órlaithí Flynn MLA, have been calling for the establishment of such a unit for over two years.

“In recent weeks, I received a response to a Parliamentary Question which did not give a definitive timeline for the when the proposed unit will be up and running.

“St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin has been chosen as the site, but we still do not know when this 10-bed unit will be operational.

“It is unclear if the 2024 target set out in ‘Sharing the Vision’ for the delivery of this service will be met, which is not good enough from this Government.

“This HSE campaign will be great with empowering women in taking care of their mental health and raising awareness of the supports that are available, but it will also shine a light on the failing of Government to provide specialist inpatient perinatal services.

“I am calling on the Government to join in this conversation and to set out concrete timelines for delivering a specialist perinatal inpatient unit on the island of Ireland and to deliver on its promises.”

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