Dr Andrew Mayers talks about maternal mental health on BBC Radio Solent

With one in ten women developing a mental health issue during or after pregnancy, BU’s Dr Andrew Mayers spoke to BBC Radio Solent about the lack of awareness surrounding pre and postnatal depression in some areas of Dorset.

Dr Mayers, a Senior Psychology lecturer, told the Breakfast in Dorset programme: “If a woman has got a history of previous mental health problems, you would hope that the local services would be alerted once she becomes pregnant.

“But I think it’s about more than that. Mums-to-be need to be given more information so they are aware of what could happen to them.”

When asked if there is a need for community and health service provisions, Dr Mayers argued there was, saying:

“I think it is important that anyone who is involved with mothers or mums-to-be should recognise the signs if there is a problem and know what to do within the community.

“In the worst case scenario women are taking their own lives. It’s one of the most common forms of death in that particular group of population.”

Dr Mayers is a member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, which highlights the differences in support service between various areas of the country for mothers with mental health issues.

Part of the organisation’s campaign is to raise awareness for more funding and support that Dr Mayers claims is necessary for new mothers with mental health issues.

“If we spend money now on early intervention and support services, we will save money in the future for health, mental health and any other societal costs. We need the services to be brought up to scratch in mental health.”

Dr Mayers is a senior psychologist at BU and is also on the board of trustees for the organisation Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS).