Leading NI perinatal campaigner recognised for their work with MBE

Northern Ireland news, Press release
14 June 2024

A leading NI campaigner in perinatal mental health has been recognised for their work with an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours List. 

Lindsay Robinson started campaigning for better perinatal mental health services in Northern Ireland after battling with perinatal mental illness herself.

Previously, Northern Ireland had no mother and baby unit and only one small perinatal community team.

But Lindsay has worked tirelessly with stakeholders, including RCPsych NI over the past nine years to campaign on this issue.

Now the campaigner has been recognised for her vital work in helping to improve mental health care for new mums and mothers-to-be.

In 2022, the Department for Health announced funding for community perinatal mental services across Northern Ireland which are all now up and running.

A mother and baby unit are due to be located at Belfast City Hospital - but no funding has yet been secured.

Lindsay Robinson MBE said: 

"I am incredibly honoured to be awarded an MBE for services to perinatal mental health in Northern Ireland. 

"It was a privilege to raise awareness due to my lived experience. As I recovered, the work helped bring purpose to a very painful experience, for both myself and my family. 

"Alongside that, together with many other mums, dedicated health care professionals, voluntary organisations and the Royal Colleges we successfully campaigned for Specialist Services - it was a team effort and I'm grateful to have been able to play my part. Thank you must go to everyone who supported us in this work. 

"The specialist teams are now up and running, in each of the five health Trusts, which is great news, but a mother and baby unit is still required. I hope we see movement on this important part of the campaign very soon."

Dr Julie Anderson, chair elect at RCPsych NI, said: 

"We’re absolutely thrilled with this news and offer Lindsay huge congratulations. 

"It’s amazing that Lindsay has been given a Birthday Honour from His Majesty the King.

"This recognises her incredible tenacity and achievements in bringing about real change to the benefit of mums, babies and families across Northern Ireland.

"Lindsay’s work has been absolutely central in the decision to fund new specialist perinatal community teams."

Perinatal mental illness can affect one in five women during pregnancy or the postnatal period.

The symptoms are wide-ranging and can include changes in mood, significant anxiety, difficulty with sleep, feeling unable to cope, withdrawing from other people, difficulty bonding with your baby, frightening thoughts and experiences.

If any pregnant or postnatal mum experiences a change in mental health, they should contact a health care professional such as GP, midwife, health visitor or mental health team if already known to that service. 

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