The Prime Minister has today announced plans to inject nearly a billion pounds in mental health care support in a keynote speech at the charity Family Action in London.

In his keynote speech, the Prime Minister said: 

"Mental illness isn't contagious. There's nothing to be frightened of.

"As a country, we need to be far more mature about this. Less hushed tones, less whispering; more frank and open discussion.

"We need to take away that shame, that embarrassment, let people know that they're not in this alone, that when the clouds descend, they don't have to suffer silently.

"I want us to be able to say to anyone who is struggling, 'talk to someone, ask your doctor for help and we will always be there to support you'."

The government's investment plans include:

  • £290 million to help new and expectant mums who have poor mental health
  • £247 million to place mental health services in every hospital emergency department
  • Improved waiting time target for people experiencing psychosis
  • £70 million of relationship support funding and steps to underline the importance of parenting

Infographic source: ‘The costs of perinatal mental health problems’ report, LSE & Centre for Mental Health, Oct 2014

Alison Baum, Chief Executive of parent and child charity Best Beginnings said:

"As a proud and active member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, Best Beginnings welcomes the government’s announcement of increased funding for mental health and is delighted that a significant proportion of this funding is to provide specialist services to support maternal mental health. Currently, the unacceptable post-code lottery of antenatal and postnatal mental health service provision has a devastating and avoidable impact on mothers, their babies and families and society at large.   

"If well deployed, this new funding could ensure that women across the country can gain rapid access to specialist mental health services if they need it and if they seek support. Sadly, there is still stigma around mental health and myths about maternal mental health, for example, many women fear that their baby will be removed if they tell their midwife, GP or Health Visitor that they are feeling low or anxious. The reality is, the sooner women secure the support they need the better the outcomes for them and their baby.  

"To drive national change and improve outcomes a multi-faceted strategic approach is needed. As part of this, Best Beginnings has created our free Baby Buddy app which is endorsed by the Department of Health, Royal colleges and other professional organisations. In addition, we've filmed with parents and experts across the country to make a new series of videos to raise awareness about maternal mental health and the importance of seeking help early. Many of these videos are being added into Baby Buddy app whilst other films will be used to support staff training and development.  

"At Best Beginnings we are passionate about the power of collaboration and we'd like to thank the parents who have shared their stories on camera and helped inform the style and content of the films. Thanks also go to the many charities, royal colleges and professional organisations that have been actively involved in the creating Baby Buddy and the videos and who are now reviewing rough-cuts of some longer videos prior to their launch in the Spring." 

The full report can be found at

Best Beginnings' Maternal Mental Health films project 

Best Beginnings' Baby Buddy app 

Maternal Mental Health Alliance and the #everyonesbusiness campaign 

The MMHA 'Everyone's Business' campaign has shown that over 40% of English health boards do not currently provide pre- and post-natal mental health care. Just 30 of the 237 clinical commissioning (CCG) areas in England and health board areas in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer what the alliance says is the highest level of provision. These are all in England, with the excpetion of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in Scotland.

The map below shows areas with no specialist provision in red.