More support for perinatal and infant mental health to help mothers and infants at risk

Charities providing counselling and peer and parental support are to share funding to help improve the life chances and wellbeing of pregnant women, new mums and their families.

The Perinatal and Infant Mental Health fund will provide annual funding of up to £1 million to help third sector organisations deliver vital services.

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey attended a virtual meeting with Amma Birth Companions to announce the successful organisations to receive a share of the funding.

The charity supports vulnerable women who would otherwise experience birth without a partner, including a number of women who are refugees, asylum seekers or living in poverty.

Ms Haughey said: “We want all mothers and their families to have access to good mental health care throughout pregnancy and during the postnatal period.

“The third sector provides an invaluable source of support and with the impacts of COVID-19, their work is more important now than ever. The fund will allow one-to-one support for organisations to help provide the care that women and their families need across Scotland.

“In our 2019-20 Programme for Government, we committed to support the third sector to deliver counselling and befriending services for women who might benefit from additional support in their community.

“Our delivery plan will help us continue to improve perinatal and infant mental health services, backed by £50 million and guided by the voices of women with lived experience.”

Celia Tennant, Chief Executive at Inspiring Scotland said: “Inspiring Scotland is delighted to be supporting the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund and today’s announcement. The commitment from Scottish Government to this vital area has been matched by the high number and calibre of proposals we received for funding . We are looking forward to working alongside these essential services over the next three years to support more families during the crucial perinatal period.”

The annual Perinatal and Infant Mental Health fund is designed to deliver key services and address gaps in provision.

The full list of organisations are: Aberlour, Amma Birth Companions, Barnardo’s, Home Start Glasgow North and NL, Midlothian Sure Start, Stepping Stones North Ed, Home-Start East Highland / Caithness, PND Borders, Home-Start Dunfermline, Quarriers, CrossReach, Human Development Scotland, Action for Children, Healthy Valleys, Maternal Mental Health Scotland.