Perinatal mental health in the South West

Perinatal mental illnesses can affect women during pregnancy and up to a year after giving birth. If left untreated they can have a devastating effect on both the women and their families, with suicide being one of the leading causes of death for women during pregnancy and the year after giving birth. It is estimated that 10-15% of women who give birth will suffer from mild to moderate depressive illness and/or anxiety, which equates to 5,000-8,000 women in the South West in a given year.

‘Head Up, Heart Strong’ has been created for and with families affected by perinatal mental health problems and professionals working in this field by Devon Partnership NHS Trust, who are active within the work of the Network.

In line with the Department of Health’s Mandate to NHS England for 2014/15 and the priorities established by the Network in 2013, the South West Maternity and Children’s Strategic Clinical Network has developed a Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Working Group to focus on this area of work. We are working with the NSPCC to promote the standards addressed in their Prevention in Mind document regarding perinatal mental health and will be holding a regional event on Tuesday 6th November 2014 to raise awareness and promote the adoption of the standards across the network region. If you would be interested in attending this event, please contact us