First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon visited the Mother and Baby unit at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, today (6 March 2019) to announce that over £50 million will be spent on improving access to mental health services for expectant mothers and new mothers.
The new money will provide access to treatment for an additional 11,000 women who experience mental health problems during and after their pregnancy. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of women, and covers a wide range of conditions. If left untreated, it can have long lasting effects on women and their families.
New models of service delivery will be introduced, including specialist care for acute perinatal mental health problems and improved infant mental health services.
A new needs assessment report, funded by the Scottish Government, has been published by the national Managed Clinical Network (MCN) for perinatal mental health. The report outlines recommendations to improve the provision of mental health care for expectant and new mothers and their families.
Dr Roch Cantwell, Lead clinician for the Perinatal Mental Health National Managed Clinical Network, said:
“This report results from the enthusiasm, dedication and drive of women and their families who experience perinatal mental ill health, and the professionals who care for them across Scotland. Perinatal mental illness can be devastating, but we know that there are effective treatments which can manage and, in some circumstances, prevent its onset.
“The needs assessment and service recommendations report gives us a template to establish services which will ensure that women, their infants and families, receive expert care wherever they live in Scotland and that children can have the best start in life.”
Feature on event by BBC Reporting Scotland Starts at 8mins 48seconds into programme.
The event also saw the launch of the Women and Families Maternal Mental Health Pledge (See copy of Pledge below)
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health, Clare Thompson, Everyone’s Business Co-ordinator & MMHS Change Agent and the MCN Core Team (click on photo to enlarge)