New mental health services are being developed to support pregnant women and new mothers in Tayside next year.
The new services come after Scottish Government funding was made available to NHS Tayside to support new parents.
Due to begin in April next year, the community perinatal and infant mental health service will provide essential support to families to support them in their mental health and wellbeing needs during the perinatal period, which is from conception to 18 months after a baby is born.
It will also include a maternity and neonatal psychological intervention service.
Rosey Adam – who founded a website dedicated to maternal mental health, PND and Me – advocates for greater perinatal and infant mental health services in the area.
She said: “I’m passionate that all mothers deserve timely access to and appropriate care for their mental health.
“I’m really pleased to see the development of the new perinatal and infant mental health service as this will have a long lasting positive impact on the outcomes for women and their babies.”
Untreated perinatal mental health problems are prevalent and continue to have an adverse affect on pregnant women and new mothers.
They can have long-term physical and mental effects on mothers, babies, partners, and families.
The new Tayside services are being developed in partnership with service users, clinical staff and third sector partners.
Dr Moira Kennedy, GP and chairwoman of the Tayside Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Steering Group that is developing the service, said: “I’m delighted that we have secured funding to develop perinatal and infant mental health services.
“These services are vitally important in meeting the needs of women and families throughout pregnancy and the early years of life.
“We are working hard to deliver the service by April next year and I’m really looking forward to seeing the positive impact the services will have for women and families in Tayside.”
Specialist midwife in perinatal mental health, Justine Anderson added: “I am delighted that NHS Tayside has been successful in receiving funding from Scottish Government to develop and implement a perinatal mental health team.
“This is a vital resource for the women and their families and is a further indication of NHS Tayside’s commitment to developing the essential structure of collaborative working between a multi-disciplinary team.”
Further information on the services can be found on the NHS Tayside website.