November 5, 2019
Bereaved parents falling through the gaps in mental health care
More than eight out of ten NHS commissioners across the UK do not provide specialist therapies for parents who experience a psychiatric illness after pregnancy loss or the death of their baby, according to a report published by the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance.
'Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Bereaved parents falling through the gaps in mental health care' reveals that 60% of bereaved parents surveyed felt they needed specialist psychological support for their mental health, but were not able to access it on the NHS. And those bereaved parents who were able to get psychological support often had to attend clinics where they were surrounded by families with live babies.
Overall, parents reported waiting too long for support, particularly when referred by their GP. Lack of accessible NHS services led some parents to seek private care, which not everyone can afford.
The Baby Loss Awareness Alliance of 90 charities is now urging government and the NHS to ensure that anyone who needs specialist psychological support following pregnancy loss or the death of a baby can access it free on the NHS, wherever and whenever they need it. The call came ahead of Baby Loss Awareness Week 2019 (9-15 October) when bereaved parents, their families and friends, united across the world to commemorate their babies' lives.
Read the full report here.