Perinatal Mental Health Referrals: Information for parents and allied professionals

Sometimes additional mental health support from the perinatal mental health team is required. This team is specifically trained to deal with more complex mental health issues such as birth trauma, depression, anxiety etc that occur either in pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child or new child entering the family. Mental illness at this time can affect up to 20% of new mothers/birthing persons.

The perinatal team locally is based in Coventry but covers all of Coventry and Warwickshire.  It is run by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

If your referral has been accepted by the perinatal mental health team you can expect:    
A practitioner from this team will usually phone you to discuss how you are feeling and arrange for you to have an assessment or may advise on alternative support most suitable for you.  This contact will usually take place after your referral has been received.  Urgent referrals will be dealt with separately.

The team will offer you care to meet your needs, alongside other health professionals who may be involved such as your midwife, hospital doctor, GP or health visitor. Depending on your situation, you may have your assessment in an antenatal clinic, in an outpatient clinic or in a community venue. Occasionally you may have an assessment in your home.

If you think you need to be referred to this team:  
Contact your health professional (such as your GP, midwife, health visitor) to discuss referral.

Myth busting                                                                                                        
It’s important not to worry if a professional would like you to receive support from this team. They are there to help you, your baby and family have the best experience, and sometimes this requires getting a little extra help. They want to keep you well, and acting  early helps prevent problems developing later on.

There are many myths associated with perinatal health and wellbeing – see this page for further details.

You are not alone – hear how other people have experienced, and sought help in the perinatal period:

The video clips below are part of a series that have been produced by NHS England with women who have lived experience of perinatal mental health conditions, each video clip is between 2-3 minutes long, and addresses some of the signs and symptoms experienced, as well as examples of help and support obtained.  

Postnatal Depression - Leanne's Story

Maternal Bonding Difficulties - Tara's Story

Postpartum Psychosis - Katy's Story

Maternal OCD - Marie's Story

Antenatal Anxiety - Kate's Story

Find help now:
If you need mental health support now, the freephone telephone number 08081 966798, can be called 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by both service users and carers. Call 999 in a medical emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

Other sources of help are also available here

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