Perinatal and early years
We are committed to improving the mental health of mothers, fathers, carers and infants throughout pregnancy and during the postnatal period.
The 2018-2019 Programme for Government (PfG) contains improving perinatal and infant mental health as a key commitment.
This is supported by a £50 million investment over four years which is being overseen and directed by the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board.
- launched the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board in March 2019
- published the Programme Board’s Delivery Plan for 2019-2020 on 30 August 2019
- established an Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group in October 2019, focussing on supporting the development of resilience and emotional wellbeing in families, as well as the delivery of effective interventions when mental health problems occur
- published the Programme Board’s Delivery Plan for 2020-2021 on 3 July 2020
- invested over £827,000 in Mother and Baby Units in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 in Leverndale and Livingston to improve the experience of care for women in need of intensive support and increase staffing levels
- launched the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund in August 2020. Up to £1 million of funding has been allocated to the Third Sector per annum. This purpose of this is to help third sector organisations provide enhanced peer support, parenting support and perinatal counselling services during pregnancy and in the early stages of life. This is crucial for mothers, infants and their families who are in need of mental health support
A directory of currently available perinatal and infant mental health third sector support is available on the Inspiring Scotland website.
- launched the Mother and Baby Family Fund (MBUFF) in October 2020, to support those visiting their loved one in a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU). The MBUFF allows partners/fathers/main carers to claim towards the cost of travel, food and accommodation when visiting an MBU. This also applies for children under 16 during their visits
We are also:
- working with all health boards across Scotland to establish and expand specialist perinatal services. This includes specialist Community Perinatal Mental Health, Infant Mental Health and Maternity and Neonatal Psychological Interventions services. Initial staffing for these developments should be in place by the end of the financial year and we will be working closely with boards going forward to develop these services further