Young mothers could soon get extra mental health support following the launch of a new ‘how to’ guide designed to combat the problem of the widespread lack of available appropriate mental health support.
The rate of teenage pregnancies remains higher in the UK than in most other European countries. Young mothers are also at a higher risk of postpartum depression than average which, if unchecked, can have long-term consequences for mother and child.
While appropriately tailored support services can mediate many of the practical and psychological difficulties that young parents experience, in some areas these services are lacking. But even where services are in place, young parents often show a reluctance to engage with professional support.
In response, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has launched the ‘Young Mums Together’ report and a ‘How To’ guide to running young parents’ services, which offers useful tips and strategies for professionals to deliver dynamic and engaging young parents support services.
The report explores the results of the Young Mums Together project, which was run by the MHF, and provided support for a range of young mums’ needs, including mental health, parenting advice and careers advice.
Eva Cyhlarova, head of research at the MHF, said: “Appropriately tailored services can reduce risks associated with early parenthood, for both mothers and children. Young mums require support with a range of difficulties as they face several major life changes in their teenage years. A comprehensive service for young mothers would provide support with parenting, mental health needs, relationship difficulties, benefits, housing, social engagement, and employment.
“We hope that our ‘How to’ guide helps professionals get young parents engaged with the support that they need to help protect their mental health.”
A young mum from the group added: “People may feel slightly embarrassed but they need to understand that if there is something wrong with them and they need someone to talk to about their mental health issues, it’s good to find help earlier. I don’t want my baby to grow up the way I did. I don’t want her to be pregnant at 15. I want her to grow up and be extremely happy.”
To download the guide visit: http://mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/young-mums-together-guide/
To download the full report please visit: http://mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/young-mums-together-report/