INDIVIDUAL
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Social and Family Life​

A woman’s social and family life can impact help seeking, access to care, and delivery and implementation of care. ​

  • Social isolation​

  • Family and friends​

  • Additional personal difficulties​

Social isolation​

Social isolation can act as a barrier to perinatal mental health care, whereas social support can be a facilitator​​.

"Those without social relationships felt an additional burden when dealing with PPD​​ [postpartum depression]"

Evidence level: Moderate​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Decision to consult, Women’s experience of treatment​.

Key literature: ​

Hansotte E, et al. 2017 

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Family and friends​

Supportive family and friends can be a facilitator to perinatal mental health care, whereas having little support from family and friends is a barrier​.

"It was sort of my partner saying to me: “Right, if you don’t go, I’m basically making  nyou an appointment … You can’t just keep feeling like this".​

​Evidence level: Moderate​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Decision to consult, Assessment, Decision to disclose, Access to treatment, Women’s experience of treatment​.

​Key literature: ​

Button S, et al. 2017 

Additional personal difficulties​

Personal difficulties outside of perinatal mental illness such as unemployment can act as barriers to perinatal mental health care​.

"I have this one client. . .(who) has so many issues going on, abusive relationship which she got out of and then custody battle with the children that are going to be a year in June and she is also pregnant. . .She had so much going on that she rejected the (mental health) referral​​".

​Evidence level: Moderate​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Decision to disclose, Access to treatment​.

​Key literature: ​

Boyd RC, et al. 2011 

Recommendations

Social isolation can be a barrier to care for some women. We therefore recommend service managers considering offering peer support to women where appropriate.


Not being financially stable, and other personal difficulties can be a barrier to care. We therefore recommend the government provide a fair welfare and economic system that ensures that no one is living in poverty or in financial hardship.