On Wednesday 9th December MPs will take part in an opposition day debate in the House of Commons to discuss Mental Health.
The Smallest Things campaigns regularly for more awareness and better access to psychological support following the premature birth of a baby and we know how important this issue is to our supporters.
I have written to my local MP, asking them to attend to take part in the debate and hope you will do the same.
Please feel free to use any part of the letter below.
You can find how to contact your local MP by clicking and entering your Postcode here.
Dear Mr Reed MP,
I am writing to ask you to attend the forthcoming opposition day debate on mental health with regards to PTSD, the hidden cost of NICU.
When my son was born we weren’t ready. He wasn’t ready.
Born 10 weeks early, he spent an anxious 8 weeks in neonatal intensive care; a stressful environment where parents following the traumatic birth of their babies watch over incubators day-by-day. It is an uncertain and alien world full of breathing machines and beeping monitors. It is a medical and clinical world where you find life at its most fragile.
Not surprisingly mothers of babies born too soon there is a greater risk of post natal depression, with as many as 70% report symptoms of post traumatic stress and anxiety in the aftermath of a premature birth.
Yet in their 2015 baby report, Bliss reveal that 41% of neonatal units have no access to a trained mental health worker and that nearly a third of units offer no psychological support at all.
Parents of some of the smallest and fragile babies need more support, not only during their hospital stay, but also in the months and years that follow.
I, and parents like me, would be grateful if you could highlight the very specific, but often unmet needs of families of premature babies in the forthcoming opposition day debate on Mental Health – Wednesday 9th December.
For more information, please see PTSD: The Hidden Cost of NICU
With best wishes,