Pregnancy: Mental Health Services

Department of Health written question – answered on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure all new mothers' mental health problems are identified as early as possible.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Promoting good maternal and perinatal mental health is a key priority for this Government, as set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

The Department is investing £365 million from 2015/16 to 2020/21 in perinatal mental health services, and NHS England is leading a transformation programme to ensure that by 2020/21 at least 30,000 more women each year are able to access evidence-based specialist mental health care during the perinatal period.

A key element of the transformation programme is to increase awareness and skills across the workforce, supporting better identification of perinatal mental illness, early intervention and consequently improved recovery rates.

In addition, the Department has published guidance which has led to the creation of over 570 perinatal mental health visitor champions. Their role is to support health visitors with the identification and management of anxiety, mild to moderate depression and other perinatal mental disorders, and to know when to refer on to a specialist.

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