Maternal Mental Health Program

A global estimate by WHO indicates that about 10% of women suffer from depression during pregnancy, while about 13% of women experience depression after childbirth. This goes on to affect the attachment between mother and child – an essential factor in the healthy physical and cognitive development in children. Indicatively, maternal mental illness has a significantly negative impact on growth and development.

Lagos State is not unaware of these issues, and according to its mental health agenda, every citizen will have access to effective and sustainable mental health services. Thus, the Lagos State Maternal Mental Health project has been initiated to integrate mental health into the general maternal health system and deliver sustainable and efficient programs to new and expectant mothers in the state.

This project seeks to:

  • Integrate maternal mental health into the general maternal health system
  • Increase health literacy amongst health providers and service users
  • Expand availability of and accessibility to evidence-based community maternal mental health programs
  • Ensure an effective referral pathway for counselling and support

Awareness outreaches and advocacy visits are paid to antenatal clinics within the Maternal and Child Centers in Lagos State, where a mental health professional educates nurses, midwives as well as new and expectant mothers on the signs and symptoms of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD), and what to do if a woman is suspected to have symptoms of PMAD