New and expectant mothers are being offered the opportunity to meet the team from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) who are behind a new specialist perinatal mental health service.
One in five women will experience a mental health problem during their pregnancy and in the first year after birth, with depression and anxiety disorders being the most common.
To mark the perinatal service’s official launch, the team will be at three upcoming events to speak to women and their families.
. Rosie Maternity Hospital, Cambridge - February 11: 6pm to 9pm (part of open evening at the hospital)
. Rosie Hospital foyer, Cambridge - February 12: 10.30am to 1.30pm
. Maternity Unit foyer, Peterborough City Hospital - Wednesday, February 13: Noon to 2.30pm.
Last year CPFT – which provides mental health and community health care - was awarded about £3 million over the next three years as part of a national programme to increase funding for perinatal services across the country by a further £23 million.
The trust’s Perinatal Mental Health Team offers psychiatric and psychological assessments and care for women with complex or severe mental health problems during the perinatal period. It can also provide pre-conception advice for women with a current or past severe mental illness who are planning a pregnancy.
The team includes consultant psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, occupational therapists, peer support workers, nursery nurses and administrative staff.
To access the service, women are asked to speak to their GP. More information can be found on the CPFT website.
Speaking when funding for the service was first announced in August, Juli Broder, advanced nurse practitioner for perinatal mental health at CPFT, said: “This is a crucial step forward for mothers and mothers-to-be. Good mental health care for mums means better care for their children – and that will have lifelong benefits.
“At the moment we offer some perinatal care through our mental health adult locality teams, but having a specialist team in place will be vital and we will be able to offer support to hundreds of women each year.”
NHS England, which has committed to investing £365 million to develop perinatal mental health services nationally by 2022, has said as recently as 2014 it was estimated that only three per cent of the country had good access to perinatal mental health care.