Almost 1 in 5 parents have considered suicide

| 17/11/2016 | 0 Comments

Almost 1 in 5 parents of a premature baby have considered suicide according to a new report published today by Little Miracles UK, one of the UK’s largest support organisations for parents of babies born premature or sick.

The release coincides with World Prematurity Day (17 Nov) and the “Little Miracles Parent Mental Health Report” canvased the views and opinions of 338 parents of babies born premature or sick in the UK.

The report also revealed that around 60% of parents were actually worried about speaking to their GP about their mental health issues. With one parent actually reporting a negative and unsupportive comment by their GP.

Just over 50% confessed to lying to hospital staff when asked how they were feeling, with one parent citing that they were “Scared about being told can’t cope, child being taken away.”

Also of concern was that just under 40% felt that they could not speak to their partner about how they felt, with one parent stating that, “I was told to stop moaning and that I’d be a rubbish mother if I couldn’t cope with things now”.

The report highlights the fact that parent mental health continues to be overlooked, with not enough being done to support parents of babies born sick or premature.

Whilst the priority should always be the new born baby, neonatal wards should also be a place where parents feel able to discuss all of their concerns and feelings, physical and mental. And GP practices should also be places where parents feel at ease discussing their concerns.

Worryingly only 5.64% of parents were offered mental health support after the birth of their baby. Unsurprisingly almost 95% felt there was not enough mental health support available via the NHS after the birth of their premature baby in hospital.

Marsha Davis, CEO and founder of Little Miracles UK said, “When asked how you are feeling, how many answer with a simple “I’m fine.” Maybe it’s time we created an environment where people were encouraged to be honest, simply tell the truth….and say it like it is, “I’m not fine.” ”

The report recommends there should be initial mental health assessment for all parents, with ongoing follow up support where needed. It also suggests that fathers should also be fully supported, as recent studies suggest that they are just as likely to suffer Postnatal Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as mothers.

Marsha adds, “There are around 90,000 premature or sick babies born each year. So with almost 1 in 5 parents saying that they have considered suicide, this isn’t a small issue that can be ignored. People need to act and act now.”

Little Miracles UK are currently asking people to sign a petition asking the Government to provide  mental health assessment and practical support for all parents of premature and sick babies, from point of birth. Click here to see the petition: https://goo.gl/VjLsrl

She concludes, “As the mother of four babies born premature I am well aware of how difficult a time it can be and the Government needs to do something.” She adds, “The best possible outcome for any NICU is for the baby to leave in the best possible health, with parents who in the best possible frame of mind to care for them.”

Please click here to read the full “Little Miracles Parent Mental Health Report 2016

END

Media for Little Miracles UK is being handled by Satsuma. For all media enquiries please contact Godwin Ohajah at Satsuma: media@satsuma.eu or call 07429188621.

NOTES

Little Miracles was formed in 2013

Little Miracles UK provide support for parents of babies born premature or sick.

Little Miracles UK, was originally set up to support families of premature babies in North Wales. They now operate throughout the UK with 44 Regional Coordinators supporting more than 50,000 families

Facebook data (17Nov2016): Little Miracles UK (52,162 likes)

Little Miracles actively seeks to work in partnership with other organisations and charities that provide any form of support to parents of babies born premature or sick

Click here to go to the Little Miracles UK Facebook Page

Click here to go to the Little Miracles UK website

#MentalHealth Survey

Category: Industry News, Satsuma News

About the Author ()