Mental health service for new mums launches

Jessica-Rose Williams, Emma Redmond-Smith, Helen Jackson and Dr Joanna Woodger at the launch of Suffolk Perinatal Service, at The Mix, in Stowmarket

New mums suffering mental health issues could be helped by a service which had its official launch on Friday.

Suffolk Perinatal Mental Health Service offers targeted help to new mums with severe post-natal depression and other complex mental health issues.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) launched the service, aimed at mums in west and east Suffolk, at The Mix, in Stowmarket.

Around 100 representatives from health, local government and social care heard speakers including two mothers who talked about their experience of post-natal depression and the impact the service has had on their lives, NSFT chief executive Julie Cave and staff.

Helen Jackson, perinatal clinical nurse specialist, said: “We are really pleased to be able to officially launch this important new service, which is already having a really positive impact.

“We start working with women as early as possible.

“Our aim is to work closely with our partners so women can benefit from joined-up care when they are at their most vulnerable and go on to enjoy a healthy, happy life with their new baby.”

The service is available during pregnancy, at the time of birth and up to a year afterwards. It started in October and has already seen 50 patients and trained 200 students, midwives and social workers.

It was commissioned by NHS West Suffolk and Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups and is delivered in partnership with West Suffolk and Ipswich hospitals.

Dr Rosalind Tandy, a GP and mental health lead for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “NHS organisations across the patch are working together to deliver a joined-up service so new mothers have the opportunity to best enjoy this very special time of their lives.”

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