Maternal mental health

New maternal mental health services launches in South West England

Women in the South West of England are set to benefit from a new mental health service, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust has announced.

The Maternal Mental Health Service (MMHS) has been rolled out to support women experiencing pregnancy-related issues such as:

  • Birth trauma and PTSD;
  • Moderate-to-severe Tokophobia – otherwise known as the fear of childbirth;
  • Baby loss – i.e. miscarriages, IVF failure, stillbirth or neonatal death.

The service will provide women with everything from psychological assessments and therapy to specialist counselling from two dedicated clinical psychologists.

One of the consultant clinical psychologists working at the new service, Dr Joanna Yilmaz, said: “This much-needed new service fills a gap by focusing on those women with more complex needs, and those who may not qualify for our existing perinatal mental health support.

“And it has no time constraints on support, which means that we can talk about baby loss and birth trauma years later if necessary.

“Women referred to the service can be seen in their own homes, online or at a location where they feel comfortable. We can also signpost carers, partners and families to other suitable support networks.”

Those working at the MMHS will collaborate closely with the already established perinatal mental health service in Bournemouth in addition to local maternity teams.

The news comes during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which helps shine a light on the mental health challenges women face before, during and after pregnancy.

Future Care Capital’s director of research and innovation, Dr Lauren Evans, wrote about how digital tool can help tackle the unmet need across NHS mental health services in our latest online magazine.

To read her account, and those of leaders from all facets of the health sector, click here.

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NHE May/June 2024

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