Mums Mental Health – Getting Support for Your Partner
The Scale of the Problem
Only about 3% of all cases of perinatal depression end up achieving full recovery
97% of mums fail to receive the treatment necessary to make a full recovery.
- Of all cases of perinatal depression, only 40% are detected and diagnosed;
- Of those recognised, only 60% receive any form of treatment;
- Of those treated, only 40% are adequately treated; and
- Of those adequately treated in real world primary care settings, only 30% achieve full recovery from their depression.
The Economic Cost Report into Perinatal Mental Health, commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and published in Oct 2014 by the London School of Economics.
For more details read Perinatal Mental Health – The Scale of the Problem.
Or to see the current provision of specialist perinatal mental health care click here.
Key Messages to Give to Your Partner
This is not their fault but they need to take some responsibility towards getting well again. There are some things that they can and should do immediately for more details read our leaflet Why am I not happy?
Screening and Self-Assessment
If your partner is experiencing some of the Signs and Symptoms of anxiety or depression on a regularly basis it could be that they have Depression which could be mild, moderate or severe.
If you think someone you know may have depression complete the Self-Assessment. The assessment will not provide a diagnosis but it will help you decide if you need to see a health professional.
The sooner they talk to someone and seek help the quicker they will recover so make sure that they don’t suffer in silence!
Ways to help your partner
Sometimes it can be very difficult to know how to help your partner. You may feel whatever you say or do, is not helping her to feel better. You may feel you have tried many different things but none have worked.
“Supporting someone with a mental illness is one of the biggest challenges.”
If your partner is not already doing so you must encourage her to seek professional help. The sooner she does this the quicker she will recover. Postnatal Depression is a serious illness but you can get better.
While it is natural to feel like you should be able to help fix your partner’s distress she will need more treatment and support than you can provide.
Try to focus on providing practical and emotional support and ensure that she receives these extra services.
How can you help?
- Listen to her and be there.
- Understand this is not her fault or yours, but a real illness and remind her that she will get better.
- Be involved with your partner’s care to gain understanding.
- Be patient and kind.
- Help her to organise her time and encourage her to work out what needs doing now and what can wait.
Other practical things you can help with that will make a huge difference
- Keep visitors to a minimum.
- Encourage your partner to take rest and time out for themselves.
- Cook a meal and help with night feeds.
- Offer to take the baby out for a walk or round to friends.
- Remember to tell your partner of your love and give hugs.
- Try not to make too many sexual demands – allow time for recovery.
For more details use our Caring for Someone with Postnatal Depression.