Today MSPs spoke on a motion in the Scottish Parliament about perinatal mental health and the importance of providing appropriate and specialised services in Scotland.
Michelle Ballantyne, South of Scotland MSP, spoke of her own personal experience with perinatal mental health issues after the birth of her fifth child, highlighting the vital importance of well-established relationships with GPs to ensure that any struggles new mothers are facing are picked up and treated early and effectively.
Calling for prioritised investment in perinatal mental health services Mrs Ballantyne questioned why it was that increased investment, received by the Scottish Government through the Barnett Formula, had not been ring-fenced for investment in perinatal health services in Scotland, as it had been in England and Wales.
In a positive and consensual debate, Mrs Ballantyne offered her support for the Aberlour initiative, ‘Everyone’s Business’, which formed the focus of the debate, emphasising in her own speech that the issue of perinatal health really is everyone’s business.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:
“I know from personal experience how important a well-established relationship with your GP can be in identifying when something’s not right.
“Investment in perinatal mental health is exactly that, an investment. It is estimated that failing to do so costs public services five times more downstream, but that is nothing compared to the human cost and suffering.
“I hope the Managed Clinical Networks will now start delivering the resources for appropriate services.
“If it takes a village to raise a child, then perinatal health really is everyone’s business.”