New mothers in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly are to benefit from additional mental health support thanks to a new pilot.
The Duchy and Isles are one of ten pilot sites chosen in the country to receive NHS investment for the development of services.
The investment will enable Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) to strengthen their services and help more women experiencing moderate to complex mental health difficulties related to giving birth
Cases will be followed closely to support a full roll-out of perinatal mental health services across the UK within the next three years.
Mandy Raywood who is is a specialist perinatal mental health service manager at CPFT said" The consequences of not accessing high quality perinatal mental health care in the early stages of pregnancy can result in extremely serious problems that have a huge impact on women, their babies and their families.”
“We already have teams working together to support vulnerable women in the county, but we know there are some women we don’t have the resources to get to.
"As a pilot site, we will be able to strengthen our workforce and track the efficiency of treatment plans.
"Ultimately this will create a better maternal mental health offering for women in Cornwall as well as the rest of the country.”
36-year-old Claire was referred to the team having had a traumatic birth experience with her first child which led to an ongoing disability.
She was overwhelmed with the responsibility of having a new baby, not only because of the practicalities of her physical injuries, but the impact of her own difficult childhood was being triggered by becoming a mother herself.
Added to which, shortly after her first baby was born, she found out she was pregnant with her second. The shock of the situation she found herself in led her to feel unable to cope and she was suicidal.
“I was in a very dark place and was struggling to bond with my baby. The perinatal mental health team were able to suggest and provide specialist services to wrap around me in a personalised care plan.
"This helped to make me feel less of a failure and gave me the confidence to parent my children and to start the process of reducing the self-doubt.'