Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Carson seeks assurances over mental health support for expectant and new mothers

Finlay meeting

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has sought assurances from the SNP Government that the right support will be in place to support the mental health of expectant and new mothers during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP questioned Mental Health Minister Claire Haughey during a virtual question time, highlighting that one in five woman suffer from mental illness during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth.

Mr Carson, and his partner are expecting a baby later this year says that in his own constituency, from feedback from his fiancées engagement in a new Mum networks  feel there is insufficient mental health support during or after pregnancy and the current pandemic will only increase those concerns.

In response the Minister said the issue was extremely close to her heart and highlighted that the Scottish Government had announced funding for Third Sector organisations in order to ensure mental health support can be delivered for expectant mothers and their families, including in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Carson also praised the Dads Rock organisation who are currently providing support online for fathers in the form of antenatal and postnatal workshops, which he has found hugely beneficial.

Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “With my fiancée  and I expecting a child later this year, I am conscious of the need to support expectant mothers and fathers mental health alongside physical health, especially with the current circumstances during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“It is clear that there are serious issues regarding a lack of support networks available right now, which is worrying when one in five women suffer mental health illnesses either during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth.

“I know from my experience that the Dads Rock organisation have been providing invaluable online support to me at the moment in the form of antenatal workshops.

“It is welcome that the SNP Government have recognised that there has been a need for further funding to help support the Third Sector and charities to deliver this vital network of support.

“There are always greater issues in rural communities in terms of resources and that is only heightened right now during the Covid-19 crisis.

“I hope that there will continue to be an improvement in the situation facing many expectant and new mothers who don’t feel there is adequate support available to them.”