Empowering employees with perinatal mental health support in the workplace
20 July, 2023, 11:50am GMT
By Chloe Mumford
Perinatal mental health, encompassing the period before and after childbirth, is a crucial aspect of overall well-being for employees who are expecting or new parents. Perinatal Mental Illness (PMI) is a mental illness that occurs in parents up to a year post-birth – sometimes longer. The most common PMH condition is post-natal depression, which affects between 10 to 15 in every 100 women having a baby. Common symptoms include persistent sadness, irritability, lack of energy and more.
While pregnant women and new mothers are 50% more likely to suffer from PMI , it can also affect the fathers/partners. Research suggests that one in five women and one in ten men experience mental health issues during the perinatal period. It’s a significant number, but there is little evidence of organisations supporting these individuals during that period or knowing this illness exists in their workforce at all.
In reality, PMI can have disastrous effects on these individuals, as proven in a study that states that a quarter of all maternal deaths between six weeks and a year after childbirth were related to mental health problems.
Employers can do a lot to support those suffering from PMI; creating a supportive and understanding work environment can have a significant impact on mental health and job satisfaction., but it may be the case that they don’t know what strategies to implement . In this article, we provide some examples of PMI, and what organisations can do to support employees who are affected by it.