Maternity Care (Mental Health and Wellbeing Support)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4 February 2021.

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Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring equitable co-ordinated access to mental health provision for new mothers and their families throughout pregnancy and during the postnatal period.

We know that looking after the health and wellbeing of mothers is vital for them and for their children, and can contribute to breaking the cycle of poor outcomes from early mental health adversity. That is supported by £50 million investment over four years, which is being overseen and directed by the perinatal and infant mental health programme board.

We are working with all health boards across Scotland to establish and expand specialist perinatal services. That includes specialist community perinatal mental health, infant mental health and maternity and neonatal psychological interventions services. Initial staffing for those developments should be in place by the end of the financial year, and we will work closely with boards going forward, in order to develop the services further.

Midwives, health visitors and general practitioners are often the best sources of advice and support with regard to mental health and wellbeing. Health visitors play a vital role in the health and wellbeing of children and families in our communities, and are at the core of delivering universal early years services.