Saturday, 19 May 2018

Mandatory mental health tests

"New mothers should receive a mental health checkup six weeks after giving birth to help tackle possible postnatal depression and other problems related to having a baby, ministers have been told."

"A cross-party group of 60 MPs and peers have written to Steve Brine, the minister for public health and primary care, demanding that all mothers in England have an assessment of their emotional and mental health carried out by a GP, practice nurse or health visitor."

"They say that making such checkups mandatory would reduce the damage experienced by women, children and families caused by mothers suffering psychological problems associated with pregnancy and birth, which often go undetected."

"About half of mothers in the UK develop a mental health problem of some sort during that time, such as postnatal depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and postpartum psychosis, according to the parenting charity NCT."

Here is what the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) have to say about themselves:

"We're here to support parents. We give them accurate, impartial information so that they can decide what’s best for their family, and we introduce them to a network of local parents to gain practical and emotional support."

NHS Choices quotes a figure of 1 in 10 women having a risk of developing postnatal depression in the first year after birth, so the statistic given by NCT seems much too high. Their claim to provide accurate impartial information does not stand up.

Also, encouraging mandatory mental health tests does not fit with helping parents to make their own decisions about what is best for their family.

But the proposal is good for the pharmaceutical companies and the fostering and adoption industry perhaps?

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