Tackling the stigma of postnatal mental illness

A fascinating new BBC documentary has tackled the stigma surrounding postnatal mental illness showcasing two mothers who experienced postpartum psychosis after the birth of their babies.

My Baby, Psychosis and Me, aired last week as part of the BBC's In the Mind season, was filmed over six months at Winchester's Mother and Baby Unit. It featured psychiatrist Dr Alain Gregoire and his team as they gave care and intensive treatment to two women, Jenny and Hannah, to help bring them back to recovery.

The unit offers round the clock support with childcare enabling mothers and babies to stay together rather than face a damaging separation.

The programme is still available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Dr Gregoire has spoken about his experience of making the documentary in an article in the Guardian in which he pays tribute to Jenny and Hannah for helping to make a programme which "chips away at the stigma of mental illness".

He says that for women with depression in pregnancy and postnatally, fear of what others think is a major factor that stops them from revealing their suffering to anybody.

"This is causing a tragedy on an unbelievable scale: at least one in 10 women suffer from depression in pregnancy or postnatally, but only one in 10 of those women get the help they need."

Read the article in full here