Why focus on this?
Babies and toddlers with a caregiver experiencing mental illness are at greater risk of developmental delays, as well as social and mental health challenges later in life themselves.
Parents experiencing depression and stress may have more difficulty understanding and responding to their children’s cues or initiating interactions with them. They may also be less likely to seek health services for their children. Between a third and a fifth of women in developing countries, and about a tenth in developed countries, experience a significant mental health problem during pregnancy or after childbirth. Learn more about maternal mental health.
In addition to the lack of societal support systems for caregiver mental health, the physical environment also plays a role in affecting mental health. Various environmental factors such as perceived safety, noise levels, air quality, the presence of people, lighting, nature, diversity of activities, space and aesthetics have varied mental health impacts depending on their intensity, frequency and sequence.
While most research has focused on the role of mental health in mothers, there is strong evidence that underscores the inclusion of fathers and other primary caregivers. For example, research has shown that domestic violence is a major factor in influencing the effect of a father on his partner’s mental health.
Number and percentage of:
- Women who receive post-natal care which includes counselling on stimulation and responsivity
- Women who were screened for postpartum depression
- Caregivers who feel a sense of social support