BU Psychology lecturer Dr Andrew Mayers will be in Parliament to discuss the economic and social costs of perinatal depression.
Andrew, who is also a Director of charity Pre- And Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS), will join mental health professionals and MPs in the House of Commons to discuss the findings of a new report into the economic impact of perinatal depression.
The report, which is part of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s (MMHA) Everyone’s Business campaign, found that perinatal mental health problems carry a total economic and social long-term cost to society of about £8.1 billion for each one-year cohort of births in the UK.
It also found that the NHS would need to spend just £337 million a year to bring perinatal mental health care up to the level recommended in national guidance.
Andrew, who is a member of MMHA through his work with PANDAS, said: “Most of us working in the field had an idea of the impact - it made sense that if we spent money on maternal mental health services, we could save a lot more longer term.
“But we had no idea that the figure would be so phenomenal, nobody did.”
He added: “We have two aims in presenting this report to MPs – firstly, to help them persuade the government that we need to make this a funding priority, but also that they then can use their power at a constituency level to make sure these services are being provided locally.”
The report also found that perinatal health services across the country are patchy – with around half of cases going undetected, and many unable to access appropriate support services.
Andrew has been given funding to provide training for multi-agency health professionals on perinatal mental health issues which will cover topics like diagnosis, symptom recognition and treatment of conditions like postnatal depression, postpartum psychosis and maternal OCD.