IMPACT conference liveblog: Postnatal depression

Una Maguire, South Dublin Local Authority branch
Una Maguire, South Dublin Local Authority branch

IMPACT delegates this morning backed a motion that notes, with concern, that postnatal depression fails to be recognised as a pregnancy related illness under new public service sick leave regulations and as such is not afforded the same treatment as other pregnancy-related illnesses.

The motion states the situation to be “unjust, unfair and entirely unacceptable”, and the union has been mandated to take all necessary steps to rectify the matter and to ensure parity of treatment for sufferers of post-natal depression.

Una Maguire of the South Dublin Local Authority branch said “We have a lot of people in our workplace affected by post natal depression who are not covered under the current sick leave scheme. There is already a stigma attached to post natal depression. If it is recognised as an illness under the scheme it will help alleviate some of the stigma attached to post natal depression and mental health in general.”

Pat Considine of IMPACT’s Kildare branch said that suffering from post-natal depression was “no-one’s fault”. Conference has heard that the condition can be “extremely debilitating” and that “members feel let down” by the current sick leave system wherein “mental health takes a back seat”.

IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody said that the motion on postnatal depression was “particularly important” for the union.