Mental health support for perinatal women

perinatal womenPerinatal women across Calderdale and Kirklees will now have easy access to information on how to get help for mental health issues that present themselves during pregnancy and after their baby is born.

The perinatal period is a uniquely stressful time for women and their families. Women are more likely to experience a mental health problem than a physical health problem as a consequence of pregnancy, and are more likely to experience a serious mental illness than at any other time of their lives.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is working together with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust to ensure that midwives are skilled to identify mental health issues and offer information where women can access services.

Women and their families will be given access to information from (IAPT) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, which provides a choice of services for people experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, stress, panic and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Karen Taylor, South West Yorkshire Partnership’s District Director for Calderdale and Kirklees said:

“This is a great initiative that offers valuable help to women at a time when they may need extra support to deal with the stresses often associated with pregnancy.

Our IAPT service is uniquely placed to support women and their families during this time by providing help in dealing with depression, anxiety, stress or any other mild to moderate mental problems they may be facing.

While IAPT can help anyone, regardless of gender or age, it is good that perinatal women will now have easy access to mental health advice and support whenever they need it.”

Calderdale and Huddersfield Trust employs a perinatal mental health midwife to oversee the care provided to women during the perinatal period, and to help further develop the maternity and mental health services compliance with best practice, including NICE guidance.

The perinatal mental health midwife role includes overseeing the care provided to women and their families, referring and communicating with the mental health team, and updating the maternity service of plan of care, including guidance in relation to medication. The midwife also trains maternity staff on a monthly basis to identify women at risk of developing perinatal mental illness.

IAPT provide support to people in Kirklees and Calderdale who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems, including depression, stress, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and dealing with phobias.

More information on IAPT can be found onnline at www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk or by phoning 01484 434625 or 01484 434626.

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