NHS to create new mental health hub to support bereaved mothers in Hampshire
BEREAVED mothers suffering traumatised by the loss of their child are to receive extra support thanks to a new mental health ‘hub’.
Leaders at the NHS have announced that 26 new facilities will be set up nationwide – and have vowed one such centre will be created in Hampshire.
As well as helping mothers who suffer the loss of a child, the service will also care for new and expectant mothers facing with mental health issues.
NHS England said the new hubs will bring together maternity services, reproductive health and psychological therapy under one roof.
By the end of 2021-22 around 6,000 women nationally will receive care and treatment 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, it added.
NHS England said that 10 sites will be up and running within months while the rest will open by April next year.
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has been earmarked in this opening 10 tranche of facilities to open first – although no location has been revealed yet.
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 so I am delighted that mothers across all areas of the country will be able to access this help if they need it.
‘The NHS is here for everyone who needs help and the expansion of specialist care through the rollout of these maternal mental health services will strengthen the services already in place, enabling us to improve the quality of care and outcomes for many women.
‘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.’
As well as offering psychological therapies for new and expectant mothers the clinics will also provide training for maternity staff and midwives, NHS England said.
Every area will have one by April 2024 as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to increase access to psychological support for women before, during and after pregnancy, it added.
Dr Giles Berrisford, NHS England’s national speciality advisor for perinatal mental health, said that around a quarter of women experience mental health problems in pregnancy and during the 24 months after giving birth.
He added: ‘These maternal mental health services will provide vital support, meeting the specific needs of these women.
‘Their establishment will significantly contribute to the overall commitment of the NHS to enable at least 66,000 women with moderate to severe mental health difficulties related motherhood to access specialist care by 2023-24.’
The News launched the There For Each Other campaign last year to highlight the importance of focusing on and talking about mental health.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article you can talk to your GP, phone 111 or text SHOUT to 85258.
:: For urgent support, call Solent NHS Trust on 111 and select the ‘mental health’ option.
:: Alternatively, call Solent Mind on 023 8017 9049