Publication - Strategy/plan

Perinatal mental health - peer support: action plan – 2020 to 2023

Published: 18 Mar 2021

The Peer Support in Perinatal Mental Health Action Plan is a follow up to Review of the evidence for Peer Support in Perinatal Mental Health Report which was published in October 2020.

Perinatal mental health - peer support: action plan – 2020 to 2023
1. Identify and Support Existing Good Practice

1. Identify and Support Existing Good Practice

A wide range of perinatal peer support services exist in Scotland, however, the vast majority are voluntary and group based. Geographical coverage is limited outside the central belt of Scotland. Continuity of provision is inconsistent, with some valued and well-attended groups forced to close due to lack of funding or accommodation.

Perinatal mental health networks such as the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Perinatal Mental Health Network (PMHN) can aid shared knowledge of local services, helping NHS staff to direct people to appropriate third sector services based on clinical need. Networks also provide a forum for creating and sharing standardised ‘peer principles’ and a hub for expertise and continuing professional development.

1.1 Recommendation:

Where there are examples of good practice, with evidence of appropriate training and support for peer volunteers, these should be championed, supported and built upon.


We will work in collaboration with the Experts by Experience Group and Inspiring Scotland to showcase good practice and identify mechanisms for developing this further.

1.2 Recommendation:

A range of peer support models should be available, with improved access to services across geographical areas throughout Scotland.


In collaboration with peer support groups, people with lived experience, third sector organisations and local statutory services, we will develop a Perinatal Peer Support Scotland resource to support local areas to expand on provision to help ensure equitable access to peer support across the country. This will include learning from, and avoiding duplication around, existing valuable resources.

1.3 Recommendation:

Regional perinatal mental health networks with statutory and third sector services should be facilitated to share best practice and aid appropriate referrals.


The Perinatal Peer Support Scotland resource or equivalent resource will contain a toolkit which supports regional and local areas around the following:

  • Identify gaps in provision
  • Identify and celebrate good practice
  • Provide support for developing peer support groups
  • Provide support to integrate peer support groups with statutory provision including referral pathways, referral templates and good practice examples of organisational support