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In a powerful open letter – signed by 100 parents and backed by the NSPCC – Leanne Howlett, 34, tells the Chancellor how the first days with her baby son were “clouded by an inability to cope and a feeling of despair”.
She said a midwife and health visitor stepped in when they realised she needed urgent help – but stressed other parents are not so lucky because they do not have equal access to health services.
The brave mum wrote: “To have to reach out and say you are struggling is the hardest call you will ever make and for many, buy cheap mevacor online pharmacy it can feel impossible.
“For this reason, so many parents end up struggling at home alone, behind closed doors, afraid to speak up.
“I was very lucky healthcare professionals spotted the signs and I don’t doubt for a second this saved my life and stopped my children having to grow up without me – their mum.” Leanne, from Warwickshire, started experiencing health difficulties after her son Garrison, now five, was born in April 2016.
Her daughter Miley, two, was born in September 2019. Leanne then found it hard to cope with such a young child during the coronavirus crisis.
In her letter, which was also sent to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, she wrote: “The pandemic has left many new parents feeling incredibly isolated and mental health needs have increased. I am urging you to invest in health visiting to make sure that every baby and every family has a fair start, no matter where in the country they live.”
The NSPCC has warned that parents face a postcode lottery if they need to access health services.The child protection charity is part of the First 1001 Days Movement, which is calling for £500million in dedicated public health funding to train and recruit 3,000 health visitors over the next three years.
The NSPCC’s Vicky Nevin said access to support for families and babies had been “inconsistent for years” and the pandemic exacerbated the problems.
She said: “At a time when health visitors were needed most, many were redeployed away from families and short-staffed services have struggled to catch up with demand. Health visitors are in a prime position to reach all families at a crucial stage.They provide a trusted source of support and advice at what can be a vulnerable time for parents’ mental health. For too long babies and their parents have been left behind.
“The spending review is a crucial moment for the Chancellor to invest in rebuilding the health visiting workforce.” The result of the appeal will be known when Mr Sunak announces his Budget on October 27.
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