More support for expectant or new mums to be launched

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Pregnant women and new mothers across Essex with mental health problems are to receive more care and support, thanks to plans drawn up by local clinicians.

New funding has been made available for the creation of an improved service in north Essex which is currently being designed and an expansion of services in south Essex for expectant or new mums with mental ill health such as post natal depression.

The NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, has formally announced £40m to be given to 20 areas of the country to fund new specialist community mental health services for mums in the immediate run up to and after birth. It will pay for specialist clinicians including perinatal consultants, specialist nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists.

Carol Anderson, Managing Director at Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) –said: “It is excellent news that additional funding has been awarded to Essex to allow us to build capacity in community services to support expectant or new mums needing mental health care.”

Perinatal Community Mental Health Services provide specialist care for women with mental illness while pregnant or after birth. Clinicians respond quickly to provide appropriate care and treatment, including lifestyle advice and counselling support to help minimise risks to mum and baby promoting hope and recovery. The services will focus on mothers of all ages including teenage mums and will also support women who have lost a child during pregnancy.

Dr Caroline Dollery, Chair of Mid Essex CCG, said: “Its key that all women receive quality care. If left untreated, what could be quite a small mental health complaint could worsen. This can have a negative impact on the individual, their child, as well as their friends and family.”

According to the mental health charity Mind, around one in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth. This might be a new mental health problem or another episode of a mental health problem they have experienced before.