What is Perinatal Mental Health?
Perinatal mental health is the mental health of any parent during pregnancy or the first year of a child’s life. Poor mental health is thought to affect up to 20% of parents, maybe more. It can include anxiety, depression, worry and intrusive thoughts, feelings of worthlessness, insomnia, obsessions and compulsions, self harm and in rare cases even psychosis.
The pandemic is thought to have increased levels of mental distress among parents due to increased isolation, lack of access to support services and family support networks and also the closure of childcare provisions. Additionally, misinformation about vaccination during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and also uncertainty about the risks of COVID during pregnancy and in babies and young children, has added to the stress facing new parents.
What is the MyPlan service?
Touchstone’s MyPlan Perinatal Service is funded with a grant from NHS Charities Together, the national charity partner of the NHS. The service supports women in Bradford who are suffering with perinatal mental health issues as a result of a recent pregnancy or as a result of existing problems that might get worse with an upcoming pregnancy. We provide outreach support to women experiencing low to moderate perinatal mental health issues, focusing on improving wellbeing and mental health.
The following headings provide some more information about the support available –
Mental Health and Wellbeing one to one support
Touchstone Mental Health Workers deliver one to one tailored support sessions, either in your home or at a community venue. We understand that women may find it difficult to talk openly about how they are feeling for many different reasons, for example pressure to feel excited and happy or worried they are a bad parent if they are struggling with their mental health. We are here to listen and help improve your coping skills, using practical strategies and a MyPlan action plan to build confidence in managing your wellbeing. We can also provide information on specialist mental health services in Bradford and can refer you on for further support if needed.