Mental health and emotional wellbeing
Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) will continue their national peer support services throughout the outbreak. The APP forum is available for people affected by PP to talk to other women and partners.
They offer one to one peer support for anyone in the UK, where people are paired with an APP coordinator with lived experience, or a volunteer peer supporter. They offer one to one peer support via email, private messaging on the forum, or via video call. Their regional postpartum psychosis cafe groups will also continue via video call. People personally affected by PP (woman, partner, family members) who would like to access this support should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maternal OCD provides guidance and resources for coping with COVID-19 for people with perinatal OCD
Beat Eating Disorders provides resources for people with eating disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Depression and other perinatal mental illnesses:
The PANDAS Foundation provides support and advice for any parent and their networks who need support with perinatal mental illness.
Anxiety UK offers support, advice and information on a range of anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression condition via email, text and live chat services.
Mind - Postnatal depression and perinatal mental health
Anxiety self help guide - A self-help guide for anxiety that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Head space - Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate.
Maternal Mental Health Alliance - A UK-wide charity supporting all women and families affected by perinatal mental problems.
Mental Health Problems in Pregnancy:
Many women face mental health problems in their lifetime and these can have a serious impact on a woman’s ability to cope with day-to-day life. Mental health can change in pregnancy; severe depression and anxiety are the most common. If you have mental health issues it is important to realise that you are not alone.
Maternity Services at BHRUT Work with NELFT (North East London Foundation Trust) to provide a safe, high quality antenatal mental health service. We offer psychiatric and psychological assessment, treatment and care – for women suffering from emotional psychiatric disorders associated with pregnancy and childbirth. This is offered for women who live within the BHRUT and NELFT areas. If you choose to book your pregnancy at BHRUT and live outside of the NELFT area, we will offer you a referral to your local service.
We will assess you if you have a history of serious mental illness (SMI) including schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and psychotic depression. Advice is also offered on psychotropic medication during pregnancy. We will refer you on to your local mental health services when required.
We are happy to offer advice regarding medication and the management of non-emergency mental health difficulties in the perinatal period. In case of an acute mental health emergency please contact your local Emergency Department.
We have a multi-professional team (MDT) including consultant psychiatrist, consultant obstetrician, psychiatrists, midwives, nurses, specialist therapist and counsellors.
You will be invited to an initial assessment with one of the team and then followed up in our joint antenatal clinic and a plan for follow-up will be discussed according to individual need. We liaise with GPs, health visitors, community mental health clinicians, children’s centres and social care to ensure you are signposted to the most appropriate support for your mental health needs in pregnancy.
Aftercare is dependent on the nature of your mental health difficulty and the availability of appropriate services. After the initial assessment you may continue to be managed by your GP or if you need more intensive support, we will refer you to an appropriate service.
Frequently asked questions
How many appointments will I be offered?
This depends on the clinic you attend and will be discussed with you at your initial assessment.
What should I do if I suddenly feel worse?
Please contact your GP or if you feel you need urgent help with your mental health attend your local Emergency Department.
Can I be seen by the service after I have had my baby?
This will depend on the nature of your illness and will be discussed and planned with you when you are pregnant.
Who will my information be shared with?
We always write to your GP and other health and social care professionals who may be involved in your care. Your health visitor will also be made aware of your contact with our service.
Should I stop my medication now I am pregnant?
No, please make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible to discuss the safety of your medication in pregnancy. It is important not to stop your medication suddenly as this could lead to deterioration in your mental health. Your GP can also contact our team psychiatrist for telephone advice about this.
On what days of the week are clinics held?
Wednesdays at King George Hospital (9am – 1pm)
If my referral is accepted by the team, how long will I have to wait for an appointment?
We endeavour to offer appointments as soon as one is available and this usually means you should not have to wait longer than 3-4 weeks between us receiving your referral and your appointment date.
Can I refer myself to the service?
Yes, however we are unable to accept referrals made by family members on your behalf.
Perinatal Parent Infant Mental Health Service – 03005551119
Mental health 24-hour Helpline 0300 555 1000
Maternity 24-Hour Helpline – 01708 503742
http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/expertadvice.aspx - Information on mental health problems, treatments and other topics, written by psychiatrists with help from patients and carers.