A CAMPAIGN to improve the support given to new mums with mental health problems has won backing from Keighley MP John Grogan.

The Hidden Half initiative has been launched by the National Childbirth Trust, whose research has shown that half of new mothers with an emotional or mental health issue don't get it recognised by a health professional and so receive no treatment.

Campaigners are calling for improved six-week postnatal check-ups, so problems can be identified and appropriate treatment offered.

"The challenges of caring for a new baby are hard enough to tackle when you are emotionally strong but doing so when your emotional reserves are depleted is even harder," said Mr Grogan.

"If maternal mental health problems go unidentified and untreated, the issues that these women experience can escalate to severe mental illness and may – in a small number of cases – lead to suicide.

"Even in less-severe cases, maternal mental illness can have a significant impact on relationships of new mothers within and outside the family, as well as the extent to which they are able to bond with their baby – with potentially serious implications for their child later on."

He has sent a message of support to the organiser of an awareness-raising event being held at Saltaire on Saturday (Apr 7).

Mrs Ko Hsin Illingworth is staging the event, at the Arris Canteen, on the ground floor of Salts Mill, from 11am to 1pm.

There will be a talk about the Hidden Half campaign at 11.30am.

Representatives of Ilkley PANDAS – a support group for people suffering from prenatal, antenatal or postnatal illnesses –and the Cellar Trust will be present.

And there will be a toy area, baby changing facilities, hot drinks, cake and free goody bags.

Admission is free.