• Fri. Aug 5th, 2022

The postpartum psychosis support group will have its first meeting

ByJulie J. Helfer

Jun 16, 2022

An online support group for northern women who have suffered from postpartum psychosis is due to hold its first meeting tonight.

The group was created by Action on Postpartum Psychosis which helps women and families affected by the disease.

About 35 women a year in Northern Ireland suffer from postpartum psychosis.

However, the north does not have a specialized unit to help mothers and their babies.

Action on Postpartum Psychosis chief executive Dr Jessica Heron said last month that the death of Orlaith Quinn, a mother of three in Belfast, showed the need for a better understanding of the disease.

Ms Quinn (33) from Lagmore near Dunmurry, died by suicide in the early hours of October 11, 2018 at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast – two days after giving birth to her third child.

Coroner Maria Dougan found Ms Quinn was suffering from postpartum psychosis at the time of her death.

She said Ms Quinn’s death was ‘both predictable and preventable’.

Ms Dougan also recommended the creation of a specialist mental health mother-child unit in Northern Ireland.

Dr Heron said there was not enough awareness of postpartum psychosis among healthcare personnel and the general public.

“About half of women who experience postpartum psychosis have never had a mental illness,” she said.

“Spotting the signs can save lives.

“If postpartum psychosis is diagnosed early and treated appropriately, women recover fully from this serious and life-threatening condition.”

Partners and grandparents can also access Action on Postpartum Psychosis’ online support groups.

For more information and to sign up for online support, visit www.app-network.org/peer-support