New perinatal mental health services will be set up across Wales, with 30 new specialist staff backed by £1.5 million of new investment, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.
The new community-based specialist services in every Welsh health board will aim to help improve mental health outcomes for women with perinatal illnesses, their babies and their families.
The teams will include doctors, nursing staff and other healthcare professionals who will provide prenatal and postnatal care. They will work closely with general mental health services and maternity services to offer treatment and support.
Speaking at a conference on developing perinatal mental health services in Wales, Professor Drakeford said: “We know that between one in 10 and one in 15 mothers experience postnatal depression and around one in 500 mothers can experience severe but treatable mental illness.
“It’s vital that we support mental wellbeing before, during and after pregnancy and support women who are at high risk of developing mental health problems as close to their homes as is practical and safe for both mother and baby.
“We want mothers and their families to have a positive experience so they can feel confident, capable and well-supported during pregnancy and the first weeks and months of bringing their new baby into the world.”
Each health board has submitted proposals which have been agreed for collaborative and multi-disciplinary perinatal services, which will build on existing services and can be rolled out across their local area.