Local trust welcomes pledge to better mental health for new parents

by CWP News - 12 January 2016

A local health trust welcomes news that David Cameron pledges to ‘provide every pregnant woman and new mother with specialist NHS help for psychological problems related to childbirth.’

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) provides several ‘early help’ specialist services to support mums and families across its footprint.

Tania Stanway, consultant psychiatrist, is clinical director for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at CWP and also the chair for Cheshire and Mersey clinical perinatal group and Cheshire and Mersey strategic perinatal group.

She says: “Mental health problems are the leading cause of death for women in the first year of their child’s life. This startling fact highlights the importance of perinatal mental health and support for new and expectant mums. Health visitors, school nurses, community mental health teams and GPs all play a part in the bigger picture when it comes to promoting better mental health.

“At CWP we are taking part in national research which will allow us to continually develop and improve the service we can offer, in order to make things better for mums and their families.

“At the heart of this is making our services easy to access and supporting people whether they have used our services before or not. We also have links with well-established local groups that are often a haven of support and are great ways to meet people in a similar position.”

Annuncia Skeldon is the team manager of the Parent and Infant Mental Health Service (PIMHS). CWP’s PIMHS team is based in Wirral.

She comments: “Pregnancy and early infancy can invoke overwhelming anxiety as well as excitement for some parents, and we know that the first two years of a child’s life are crucial for their development. The quality and content of the relationship with their parents is central to this, and we offer support to parents who may be experiencing difficulties.

“We focus on supporting the relationship between the parent and infant, from unborn babies to infants up to the age of two. We work with other professionals to offer a full package of support to families.

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