Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) have launched their Perinatal Mental (PMH) Peer Support initiative in partnership with local charity, Home-Start London. The launch follows a successful 12-month trial that ended earlier this year.
The purpose of the project is to provide practical and emotional support to families and mothers experiencing psychological difficulties during pregnancy or a year after the birth of their child.
Trained Home-Start volunteers will deliver weekly one-to-one visits to 50 women using CNWL PMH services across the city, encompassing the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Brent, Harrow, and Hillingdon. The project is set to last 12 months.
Denise Sullivan, CNWL PMH Clinical Services Lead, said: “The Home-Start project with CNWL is a wonderful initiative through which we can provide further support for women and their families improving engagement, confidence, and general wellbeing.
“The support has been valued by families and CNWL alike. We look forward to building on our existing relationship for the benefit of the families we work to support.”
CNWL say that a key focus of their PMH services is to “improve access to, and quality of, mental health care for families”, with perinatal mental illnesses affecting up to 20% of new and expectant mothers.
The project also fulfils the NHS Long Term Plan goal of transforming specialist PMH services across England. CNWL aim to make sure that, by 2023/24, at least 66,000 women with moderate, complex, or severe PMH issues can access care and support in their communities.
Elli Josephs, Home-Start PMH Lead, said: The economic and social hardship many families are facing at the moment can increase the risk of perinatal mental health problems.
“We are so pleased to continue working alongside CNWL’s community PMH teams, combining their clinical expertise with Home-Start’s holistic family support to ensure more women and their families receive appropriate, timely support.”
More information about the joint initiative is available here.