South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded £2.1m by NHS England to provide specialist mental health support to women during pregnancy and after their baby is born.
The time just before and just after birth – called 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. They are also more likely to experience a serious mental illness than at any other time in their lives.
The two year funding from NHS England will be used to set up a specialist perinatal mental health team to support local people. This new service will be based in communities across Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. It will be aimed at women with serious perinatal mental health issues such as depression, psychosis and some anxiety related conditions. The team will also work with community groups who are already involved in supporting women during this time.
Rob Webster, chief executive of South Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is very positive news for the people of Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. This funding will allow us to provide more specialist help for women at a time when they may need extra support to deal with the stresses often associated with pregnancy.
“As well as helping mothers, this funding will also allow us to support the whole family, which will have a direct and positive impact on the life and development of their baby.”