Help for women during pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood is now available in Sunderland and South Tyneside.
The Perinatal Community Mental Health Team which is part of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services, is a community service which provides secondary care for women who are experiencing mental health problems within the perinatal period.
Jan Rigby, Team Manager for the Perinatal Community Mental Health Team at NTW said:
“Having a child is often portrayed as a joyous time but for those women who experience mental health problems this can be one of the most difficult times of their lives.
“We are delighted to be in a position to offer a service to mothers who experience mental health problems during the perinatal period within South Tyneside and Sunderland.”
The service officially opened today (Monday 3rd September), in the Penshaw Unit at Monkwearmouth Hospital. It will offer care and support for women with a range of moderate to severe common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis.
Referrals can be made via a midwife, obstetrician, health visitor, GP or by the Specialist Mental Health Service.
The service also has a base in Newcastle that works into Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Gateshead.
During pregnancy, birth and early motherhood, 20% of women will have a mental health problem with 5% requiring specialist services.
The service supports the Perinatal Mental Health Pathway in line with the local maternity system. The service will ensure those women requiring care and treatment have access to specialist care.