A new service has been launched in Tayside to support the mental health of new mums during pregnancy and after birth.
Experts warn untreated mental health issues can have long-term impacts on parents and babies.
These troubling issues can arise during the perinatal period — which is from conception until 18 months after a baby is born.
Now, NHS Tayside has introduced additional support for new mums and families during this important time.
‘Support the changing needs’
The Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PNIMH) service will provide support to pregnant women, new mums and their families.
The team can offer specialist assessment, care and treatment for those who are experiencing or are at risk of developing moderate to severe perinatal mental illness.
This can include postpartum psychosis and severe affective disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
Parents and families can be referred to the service by healthcare professionals including midwives, GPs, health visitors and community mental health teams.
Anyone with concerns about their mental health should speak to one of these professionals in the first instance.
Perinatal and infant mental health team leader Beth Gow said: “The launch of this new service will play a key role in supporting the changing needs of women and families throughout pregnancy and early years of life.
“We aim to work in partnership with families and other professionals involved in women’s care, to provide early intervention and holistic support to ensure the best possible outcomes for women, their infants and families.”
The new service, which launched earlier this month, has been developed in partnership with service users, clinical staff and third sector partners.
Rosey Adams, an expert on NHS Tayside’s PNIMH steering group, said: “This new service and the incredible team behind it will be a very important part of so many women and families journeys with perinatal mental illness.
“When families are supported in a timely and appropriate way, the long term effects can last a lifetime.”