Mr McDonald prompted the debate by lodging a motion to the Scottish Parliament welcoming the campaign which also highlighted the positive work being done in Aberdeen Donside and across Scotland by organisations including the facilitation of early interventions and working holistically with practitioners on many aspects of mother, infant and family care.
“I am delighted to bring forward the debate on this issue as it is one that is very close to my heart. This is a highly important issue as 1 in 5 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or in the post-natal year and evidence suggests that it can also have an impact on infant mental health. Early intervention and support is vital because children whose mothers were emotionally well during their first four years have better social, emotional and behavioural development than those whose mothers had brief mental health problem.
“The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland’s campaign is raising awareness on the issue of maternal mental health among professionals and the wider public. In holding a debate in parliament, it is my hope that this will raise awareness of the issue further.
“I will also be using the debate to highlight some of the excellent work done on the issue of maternal mental health by many organisations in the city of Aberdeen such as Home Start, Aberlour, the Scottish Child-minding Association and the Family Learning Team.”
The motion text is as follows:
Title: Welcoming the Healthy Start, Healthy Scotland Campaign
That the Parliament welcomes the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland's Healthy Start, Healthy Scotland campaign, which raises awareness about the importance of mental health for pregnant and post-natal women and their infants; understands that one in five women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or in the first post-natal year; notes the evidence that early intervention for mothers can encourage healthy cognitive and emotional development for infants; recognises that there is positive work being done by organisations across the public and third sector across Scotland, including in Aberdeen Donside, in facilitating early interventions, and commends the campaign's focus on breaking through medical barriers and working holistically with practitioners on many aspects of mother, infant and family care.