Mental health service launched for new mothers

·1-min read

A long-awaited mental health service for new mothers has been launched in England.

The mental health hubs will provide support - including health checks and psychological therapy - as part of a nationwide roll-out by NHS England to provide treatment to more than 6,000 people.

The centres will offer services to people with "moderate-to-severe difficulties", including new mothers, those who are pregnant, and parents who are bereaved, as part of the long-term plan for the NHS to provide specialist care to people with mental health difficulties related to pregnancy, birth or parenthood by 2024.

The 26 sites are due to be opened by April 2022, and the first 10 centres - to be open within months - will be located in areas including Birmingham, Leicestershire, South Yorkshire, Isle of Wight, and Kent.

The clinics will "integrate maternity, reproductive health and psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience," a statement from NHS England read.

Support will be available to people throughout the whole pregnancy journey, from helping those who have pre-existing mental health conditions and want to get pregnant, up until the baby's second birthday.

Care will also cover those who have suffered traumatic births, or have a fear of childbirth.

Claire Murdoch, NHS England's national mental health director, said that the new mental health service will offer support to every expectant mother, regardless of the severity of their needs.

"I would encourage any mum who needs this support to come forward safe in the knowledge that her mental health and wellbeing are of paramount importance and she should not feel ashamed of accessing the help she needs," she explained.