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Chris’s Message

A survey in 2012 by the charity 4Children estimated that 35,000 women each year, are “suffering in silence” failing to seek help for Postnatal Depression in fear of losing their babies on not getting treatment.

As genetics play a part in someone developing this condition, there is a strong probability that my daughter Emily will be affected by this illness.

  • 1 in 2 mums suffer from the Baby Blues
  • 15% of mums suffer from Postnatal Depression with their first child
  • The normal risk factor is 3% of mums suffer from Severe Postnatal Depression with their first child
  • The risk factor doubles to 6% with the first child, if there is a family history of postnatal depression or a history of mental illness,
  • But the risk factor is 50%, if you suffered postnatal depression with your first child or have a previous history of mental illness,

i.e. If you have suffered depression before like Joe had, there is 1 in 2 chance of it recurring during or following pregnancy.

  • 1 in 500 suffers from Puerperal Psychosis and presents a danger to themselves and their babies.

Setting up this charity in recognition and memory of my caring and loving wife Joe was on the basis that:

- What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us

- What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.

The “avoidable deaths” and the “unnecessary suffering’ impact upon the whole family but the socio-economic costs is borne by the whole community.

We tend to forget about the wider impact that a suicide such as Joe’s has.

At the Coroner’s Inquest the wider socio-economic costs were revealed.

The suffering of the witnesses to Joe’s death who saw her lying down in front of the train, her body being torn and dragged apart and the catastrophic loss in blood that lead to her death.

Many of those who witnessed the incident needed treatment and support.

Whilst the Emergency Services response and clean-up operation lasted several hours and cost an estimated £2 million

The costs of closing the Trans-Pennine main-line and the wider travel disruptions were estimated to have cost over £20 million.

Yet the costs of providing Joe the treatment as recommended in NICE Care Standards that would have saved her life was little more than £20,000.

I want to prevent the “avoidable deaths” and “unnecessary suffering” due to postnatal depression.

I want to raise awareness and change perception of this illness.

I want to feel I have done my best to make a difference to service provision

After seven years of campaigning, raising awareness, a parliamentary review and legal action, £2m was released for the launch in March 2017 of a Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service across South and West Yorkshire

During the Independent Investigation in to Joanne’s death  21 key failings in NHS care were identified by the eminent expert Margaret Oates (MBE).

One of the key failures by the South and West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust was the lack of a specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team as described by Care Standards and NHS Best Practice.

In 2017 a new Perinatal Mental Health Service for South and West Yorkshire was launched to provide a service that will save lives!

There is still lots of work to be done as 50% of the UK still has no provision of these specialist services but with #headstogether @PMHP raising awareness and with @MMHAlliance campaigning we will get there.

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