On Wednesday 10 March, Sarah Olney MP led a Westminster Hall debate on maternal mental health.
In advance of the debate, the public were asked how covid-19 had impacted their experience of pregnancy, becoming a mother, and what the effect had been on their mental health.
Thank you message from Sarah Olney:
The Government's response:
Health Minister Nadine Dorries MP responded to the debate on behalf of the Government and addressed the current provision for maternal mental health care in England.
She also updated MPs on the progress of service expansion, detailing policies such as:
- extending the length of time for which perinatal mental health services are available
- increasing the numbers of women who are able to access specialist support.
Links to key materials from her speech:
- NHS Long Term Plan
- Early years healthy development review
- Women's Health Strategy: Call for Evidence.
See the following pages for information on healthcare provision in:
"I want to say thank you to all of those who contributed to the survey and shared it among their friends, family and support groups. I know that sharing these experiences will have been extremely difficult in many cases, especially for those who have encountered trauma and distress over the last 18 months.
"Reading the thousands of personal and complex stories that have been shared has not only been extremely moving, but has reinforced why it is so important to look beyond the numbers and provide a space for expectant and new mothers to share their experiences.
"I hope that this debate will spark the beginning of a longstanding discussion that will break down taboos and stigmas that remain around motherhood and prevent women from starting all-important conversations about mental health."
Thank you to all those who contributed to this exercise. The deadline for contributions has now passed.
If you took part, please give us your feedback in this two-question survey.
- House of Commons Library debate pack: Maternal mental health. Covers relevant policies and services, parliamentary questions, committee reports, press articles and further reading
- Debate transcript: Hansard - 10 March 2021
- Parliament.uk: Westminster Hall debate 10 March 2.30pm.
Committee inquiries and reports:
- Petitions Committee report: The impact of covid-19 on maternity and parental leave
- Health and Social Care Committee Inquiry: Safety of maternity services in England.
Women's Health Strategy consultation:
The Government are seeking your views to help inform the development of their Women’s Health Strategy. Find out more and submit your response: Women's Health Strategy: Call for Evidence.
Maternal mental health information and support:
Information on coronavirus
How your contributions are used
In these exercises, your contributions are passed on to the MP leading the debate. They, or other MPs taking part may refer to your stories directly in their speeches.
How to watch the debate
You can see the video at the top of this page. Alternatively, you can watch it on YouTube: Westminster Hall debate on maternal mental health.
You can watch all debates on parliamentlive.tv.
What is a Westminster Hall debate?
Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government minister.
The debates would normally take place in the Grand Committee Room – just off Parliament’s historic Westminster Hall - but have been temporarily suspended due to Coronavirus restrictions since 14 January. Following innovative efforts from House of Commons staff they can now take place in the more modern Boothroyd Room in Portcullis House.
The temporary move will allow up to 20 MPs to participate in any one debate physically and virtually combined. See our news story for further information: Westminster Hall debates: MPs to participate virtually and in person.
Hansard is a “substantially verbatim” report of what is said in Parliament. Members’ words are recorded, and then edited to remove repetitions and obvious mistakes, albeit without taking away from the meaning of what is said. Hansard also reports decisions taken during a sitting and records how Members voted to reach those decisions in Divisions.
A parliamentary question (PQ) is a question put formally to a government minister about a matter they are responsible for by an MP or a member of the Lords. PQs may be asked orally - during ministerial question time in either Chamber - or in writing. They are used to seek information or to press for action from the Government.
Parliamentary questions, answers and statements relevant to this debate appear on page 10 of the Commons Library debate pack: Maternal mental health.
You can search for written questions, answers and government statements on topics which interest you.
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