Perinatal and early years

We are committed to improving the mental health of parents, carers and infants throughout pregnancy and during the postnatal period. 

The 2018 to 2019 Programme for Government commitment to improving perinatal and infant mental health was overseen and directed by the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board. Following the planned conclusion of the Programme Board in March 2023, a Joint Strategic Board for Children and Family Mental Health has been set up. This was done in partnership by COSLA and Scottish Government to progress key work from both the Programme Board and the Joint Delivery for Board for Children and Young People’s Mental Health.

We are continuing to work with health boards and third sector organisations across Scotland to establish and expand services for families across perinatal and infant mental health. These include:

  • Mother and Baby Unit inpatient provision
  • third sector services
  • statutory community services
    • specialist community perinatal mental health services
    • infant mental health services
    • maternity and neonatal psychological services

We are also continuing to work with the Perinatal Mental Health Network Scotland and NHS Education Scotland to support services and workforce development.

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH) 2024 Fund

The Scottish Government’s Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH) 2024 Fund is an 18-month funding programme. This programme is for third sector organisations who support babies, parents and carers affected by, or at risk, of perinatal and infant mental health issues in Scotland. This programme is a new round of funding, a continuation of the support offered through the PIMH Fund which was launched in 2019.

Here is a summary of our actions:

Establishment and expansion of perinatal and infant mental health services

We have:

Focus on infant mental health and parenting support

We have:

  • launched the Wellbeing for Wee Ones Hub on the Parent Club website, supporting parents to gain an understanding of their infant’s emotional and mental wellbeing from an early stage
  • ensured the Solihull Online programme is accessible to every parent across Scotland, providing evidence based information on relationships and child development all the way through to 18 years
  • funded NHS Education Scotland (NES) to deliver the Psychology of Parenting programme to enable communities to be well equipped to promote and support people’s mental health and wellbeing throughout Scotland

Other support and guidance

We have:

  • worked with See Me to explore ways to actively promote, role model and highlight good practice around peer support, stigma reduction and raising awareness across perinatal and infant mental health
  • worked with Inspiring Scotland and Evaluation Support Scotland to co-produce an evaluation framework for perinatal peer support (March 2023), together with charities in our third sector fund portfolios
  • worked with Scottish Recovery Network to publish a perinatal peer support resource - Let’s do peer support; Bump, Birth and Beyond (April 2023)
  • worked in partnership to deliver the Perinatal Mental Health Peer Support events in February 2022 and March 2023 showcasing good practice and to recognise the contribution of peer support workers
  • developed a 0-5 years resource for people who work with babies, infants and young children which highlights learning materials. These include best practice guidance, online modules, websites, animations etc to support learning around infants, children and families mental health and wellbeing. 
Back to top