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O'Neill in health fact finding trip to Scotland

25 June, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O'Neill, who is deputy Chairperson of the Assembly Health Committee, is today in Glasgow on a fact finding trip looking at the Mother and Baby Mental Health Unit to see what lessons can be applied to services throughout Ireland.

Speaking from Glasgow Ms O'Neill said,

"The lack of a mental health unit for women and their babies in Ireland is a travesty.

"Up to one in seven women experience a mental health disorder at some point in pregnancy or after the birth.

"The trip to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow should strengthen the demand for this provision in Ireland." ENDS

Notes to editors

The Committee took evidence from Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Psychiatrists and others on 17 April about the lack of perinatal psychiatry services in the North of Ireland.

The Perinatal Mental Health Service in Glasgow provides services to women and families affected by severe mental illness during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth. The service includes a 6 bed / 6 cot regional Mother and Baby Mental Health Unit which provides suitable facilities for a woman with severe acute mental illness to be admitted for treatment, where it's also in the best interests of her baby to come into hospital with her.

The visit will also include briefings on the overall mental health strategy in Scotland.

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