A pregnant woman laying her hand on top of her stomach.

Commissioning perinatal mental health in the Midlands

Perinatal mental health problems are most likely during pregnancy or in the 24 months following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental illness affects nearly a third of new and expectant mums and covers a range of conditions. *

We spoke with Nick Putnam, Project Manager in Mental Health at NHS England – Midlands, who commissioned our CPD-certified courses in perinatal mental health, from the Digital Academy, for his team.

Why is perinatal mental health important?

Perinatal mental illness affects up to 27% of new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions. If left untreated, mental health issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on the woman, birthing person, the child, and the wider family.

Who is best suited to train in perinatal mental health?

Perinatal mental health training is suitable for all who are in contact with women, birthing people, their babies, partners clinical and non-clinical settings including social work and the third sector.

Why is this type of training important (for clinical or non-clinical professionals)?

Training in this area will provide the skills which will enable clinical and non-clinical professionals to identify and treat postnatal depression, including making referrals to specialist counselling, manage patient pathways and provide care and treatment for women and birthing people with mild, moderate and complex mental health needs and support the developing relationship between parent and baby.

Why did you choose the Digital Academy for perinatal mental health training? 

I chose the Digital Academy at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust because it met our work plan training objectives, course content, relevance, availability, flexibility and the Long-Term Plan, which “renews the NHS’s commitment to transformation in specialist perinatal mental health services to ensure that all women who can benefit can access care. This includes a commitment to ensure at least 66,000 women with moderate-severe/complex perinatal mental health difficulties will have access to specialist community care from preconception to 24 months” which is why this is important.

My fellow colleagues commented that they found the course to be enriching and worthwhile.

Nick Putnam is Project Manager in Mental Health at NHS England – Midlands

“This course has been fantastic at starting the process of acknowledging the perinatal mental health difficulties faced by women and birthing people in the perinatal period. The ability to do the learning flexibly as and when able to really helped be able to work around my work and life. I would recommend it to anyone.”

A participant on Introduction to Perinatal Mental Illness, Risk, Care and Treatment.

*Perinatal mental health | Health Education England (hee.nhs.uk)

Interested in finding out more?

If you’re a nurse, social worker, occupational therapist, psychologist, mental health practitioner or are responsible for arranging, commissioning or funding training for your organisation, we offer a range of mini, short CPD and longer courses to support the personal and professional development of practitioners in perinatal mental health. Our mini and short courses have been developed in line and accredited by the Continuing Professional Development Service.

Find out more about our mini courses in our Digital Academy, A brief introduction to perinatal mental health and Introduction to perinatal mental illness, risk, care and treatment.

We have short, high-quality, CPD-certified courses for clinicians: Infant observation for perinatal mental health practitioners, Perinatal training for community and inpatient perinatal mental health practitioners and Perinatal training: risk assessment and management.

If you would like to study our specialist postgraduate course, register your interest here: Perinatal, child, adolescent and family work: a psychoanalytic observational approach (M7, daytime).

To watch a recording of our perinatal mental health webinar, register here: Perinatal mental health training: the who, what and why?

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