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Sinn Féin would ensure resources for maternal mental health – O’Reilly

2 May, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has highlighted the prevalence of depression during pregnancy and called for the resourcing of perinatal psychiatrists.

Deputy O’Reilly pointed out that currently there are only four part-time perinatal psychiatrists covering the entire 26 counties, describing this as “unacceptable”.

The Sinn Féin PMB motion, due to be discussed tomorrow afternoon, highlights the inadequacies in the state’s maternity services and, among other aims, calls on the Government to adequately resource perinatal psychologists and other specialists.

Speaking today, the Dublin Fingal TD said:

“It is unacceptable that there are just four part-time psychiatrists to treat mental ill-health in the state’s obstetric services.

“The ‘Well Before Birth’ study showed the prevalence of depression among pregnant women and criticised system as being ‘grossly resourced’. The study also emphasised the need for maternal mental health to be fully resourced to ensure that all pregnant women can be screened and that supports are in place.

“Shortcomings in our maternity services have directly led to heartrending incidents involving mothers and children, including the tragic deaths of some. As legislators, we cannot abide this to continue when it is in our power to act. We must have the National Maternity Strategy and a National Maternity Hospital that is fit for purpose and free to act in the best interests of women’s health.

“I am calling on all TDs to stand up for women’s health and support our motion in the Dáil this week.” 

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