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NHS to launch mental health hubs for pregnant mums

pregnant woman holding her tummy
pregnant woman holding her tummy Image credit: birmingham.ac.uk/

The NHS have announced 26 mental health ‘hubs’ will open across England within the next twelve months for expectant or bereaved mothers.

Each service will provide support for women with moderate-to-severe conditions in 44 locations around the country.

NHS England said the sites will "integrate maternity, reproductive health and psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience."

The health service has pledged to offer care and support to at least 66,000 mums struggling with pregnancy, birth or parenthood by 2023-24.

Emily Slater, CEO of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, said: "For the more than one in 10 expectant and new mothers experiencing mental health problems, and the increased numbers as a result of the pandemic, there needs to be a system of care available to support them.

"These new services will enable more women than ever to access vital perinatal mental health care."

Hubs will provide support to women throughout the baby’s first two years, from before conception right through to the child’s second birthday.

NHS England said there will be support for a "wide range of mental health issues from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after giving birth to others with a severe fear of childbirth."

Claire Murdoch, NHS England's national mental health director, said: "Every woman has a unique experience with pregnancy and motherhood and some will need extra support to cope with mental health issues that can range from anxiety to severe depression.

"I would encourage any mum who needs this support to come forward safe in the knowledge that her mental health and wellbeing are of paramount importance and she should not feel ashamed of accessing the help she needs."

The first 10 hubs will open within the next few months in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, Lancashire and South Cumbria, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Kent and Medway, Cornwall and Devon.

Additional sites will launch before April 2022, with all 44 hubs set to be in full operation by April 2024.

In 2019-20, more than 30,000 women were seen by specialist perinatal mental health community services.