Mental health hub being set up for new, expectant and bereaved mothers in Cumbria

Valerie Isherwood's daughter Lily was stillborn at 32 weeks. Credit: ITV News

A mental health 'hub' for new, expectant or bereaved mothers is to open within months in Cumbria.

It is one of 26 across England which will offer physical checks and psychological therapy in one building, as well as training for maternity staff and midwives.

With 1 in 5 women experiencing difficulties after giving birth, the news has been welcomed by support groups and parents.

Valerie Isherwood's daughter Lily was stillborn at 32 weeks. In the years since her death, she has ran a child bereavement charity and has helped thousands of women across Cumbria

She says NHS investment in maternal mental health is desperately needed and is pleased the county is getting a specialist centre.

Valerie told ITV Border: "Parents who lose a baby have every ounce innocence about pregnancy stripped from them, and to go on and try to get pregnant again is full of anxiety and fear.

"I think the support available through the hub will be really important for that and I'm just so thrilled that we're finally going to get that kind of support, locally."

Credit: PA

Where will the sites be?

  • Birmingham & Solihull

  • Leicestershire

  • Northamptonshire

  • Shropshire Telford & Wrekin

  • South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

  • Lancashire and South Cumbria

  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight

  • Kent and Medway

  • Cornwall

  • Devon

NHS England says the first ten hubs including the one covering Lancashire and south cumbria will open within months, with another 16 by this time next year. But it promises by April 2024, that every area of England will have one.

By the end of 2021-22 around 6,000 women will receive care and treatment for a wide range of mental health issues from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after giving birth to others with a severe fear of childbirth, it added.

As well as offering psychological therapies for new and expectant mothers the clinics will also provide training for maternity staff and midwives, NHS England said.

If the issues in this article have affected you or someone you know, here's how to get help:

  • UK charity Tommys has information and support about many aspects of pregnancy, including mental health. Give them a call on 0800 014 7800 or email

  • The Happy Mums Foundation in north, east and west Cumbria offer mental health support to mother's. Find more information here.

  • The Tigerlily Trust offers child bereavement support for parents in Cumbria. Find your nearest support group by visiting the website or email

  • The National Childbirth Trust has practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. Their support line is 0300 330 0700.

  • PANDAS Foundation has support and advice for women with perinatal mental illness and their families. Their helpline is 0843 2898401 and email address is

  • Mind offer mental health support between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463. There is also lots of information available on their website.

  • Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at