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DUP MP Gavin Robinson hails wife as perinatal services given boost in Northern Ireland


Tribute: MP Gavin Robinson’s wife Lindsay had perinatal mental health issues

Tribute: MP Gavin Robinson’s wife Lindsay had perinatal mental health issues

Tribute: MP Gavin Robinson’s wife Lindsay had perinatal mental health issues

DUP MP Gavin Robinson has paid tribute to his wife after the Health Minister announced he will fund specialist perinatal mental health services in Northern Ireland.

The announcement by Robin Swann yesterday was a major boost for pregnant women and new mums as the Belfast Trust is currently the only one here that provides such a service.

However, Mr Swann has now given the green light to a funding package that will allow all health trusts to set up specialist perinatal mental health teams.

Mr Robinson's wife Lindsay has spearheaded the campaign for improvements to support for women experiencing a mental health crisis after she suffered from perinatal mental ill health during her pregnancy and after the birth of her now seven-year-old son Reuben.

Posting on social media yesterday, Mr Robinson said: "I try my best to separate out my political role from my personal life as much as I can.

"Although not alone in our experience, Lindsay had it rough.

"She knew there could have been better services for mums in a similar situation and vowed that if she would do anything about it, she would.

"I am so proud of Lindsay. Supported by many professionals, Lindsay has campaigned tirelessly on a voluntary basis for over five years.

"She has energetically and enthusiastically sought more for mums in Northern Ireland.

"No matter how raw the story or how hard the knocks, she persevered. Working with MLAs from every party, she has succeeded. Big thanks to Robin Swann on this, but I'm saving my special and heartfelt congratulations for Lindsay. You did it."

The new specialist perinatal mental health services is expected to cost £4.7m a year, but Mr Swann said he is committed to the project and stressed that protecting people's mental health is even more important as a result of the pandemic.

Commenting on the announcement, Lindsay said: "As a mum with lived experience of perinatal mental illness, I am absolutely thrilled and very relieved that these specialist perinatal services will finally be made available here.

"Some of the darkest and most difficult days of my life would have been transformed had access to these been available."

Belfast Telegraph