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Sport Relief to focus on maternal mental health

Sport Relief - which takes place 18-20 March - will focus on raising money to help more men and women with postnatal and perinatal mental health problems.

Out of every 10 women with postnatal depression, seven will downplay their syptoms, the charity said. It is hoping to reduce stigma associated with the issue and encourage more women and men to talk about their experiences and seek the support they need.

Fern Britton (pictured), TV presenter, explained to the charity her experience with postnatal depression: “I was 37 when I was first diagnosed with postnatal depression and my twin boys were nine months. I was lonely, I was isolated, I didn't feel myself…

“When all my jobs were done, I'd either go manic and clean the entire house or I would go upstairs and think, 'Now, how can I just kill myself?' I was very deeply unhappy. And I didn't know why.”

The Institute of Health Visitors (IHV) has applauded the campaign, and highlighted that health visitors are the trusted source of support for families according to research by the Early Intervention Foundation.

Dr Cheryll Adams, executive director of IHV, explained: “Health visitors have always made a huge contribution to supporting pre-school children and their families and are the best-placed professional to help give all children the best start in life. 

“Perinatal mental health is an incredibly important area of healthcare which can have a negative effect on the health and wellbeing of our society when we don't recognise it early.”

Over the last two years Sport Relief has used their donations to give 16,500 people get the support they need to improve their mental health.

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