What is the Shropshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team?
Shropshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team (PMHT) provides specialist assessment and support for women across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, providing both support to those women experiencing mental health difficulties, and those at risk of developing mental health difficulties up until a year after baby's birth. The service supports women experiencing moderate to severe mental health problems.
Our multi-disciplinary team involves a group of professionals who work together to provide a package of care and treatment most suitable for you.
The team includes:
- a Psychiatrist
- Nursery Nurse
- an Occupational Therapist
Our service aims are:
- To provide the best possible care, treatment and support to you and your baby.
- To help you stay as well as possible during the perinatal period.
- To support you and others around you to understand and recognise if you become unwell, and to know where to go for support.
- To help you enjoy your pregnancy and your baby.
- To support you in developing your confidence as a parent.
- To provide information on mental health conditions and treatments.
- To provide evidence based treatments.
Is Shropshire Community Perinatal Mental Health Team the right service for me?
The service is right for you if you are pregnant or planning to be and have a moderate to severe mental health condition such as:
- Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder
- Moderate to severe Anxiety
- Moderate to severe Depression
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- An Eating disorder
- You have experienced previous severe perinatal mental illness such as Postpartum Psychosis or Postnatal Depression
You may already be seeing a community mental health team but you should still be referred to a perinatal service for expert advice and support. The teams can work together with you, your family and any other professionals involved.
What can I expect from Shropshire Perinatal CMHT?
- An individualised assessment by a qualified Mental Health Nurse
- Preconception advice to people with moderate to severe mental health conditions
- Guidance and signposting to most suitable service for your needs
- Evidence-based treatment
- Individual or group support
- Support in promoting wellbeing and recovery
- Advice on using medication while pregnant or breastfeeding
- Support in building a positive relationship and attachment with your baby, and developing a sense of confidence in being a parent
- Support you to access specialist inpatient services (Mental Health Perinatal: Parent and Baby Unit), if this is required
- Referring you to other services which offer practical help and support for families.
The team works closely with midwives, health visitors, adult mental health teams and GP’s across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to ensure that you get the right help at the right time.
Our multi-disciplinary team involves a group of professionals who work together to provide a package of care and treatment most suitable for you. The team includes a Psychiatrist, Nurses, Nursery Nurse, Psychologists, an Occupational Therapist and Administrators.
What can I expect at an initial assessment appointment?
Your initial assessment appointment will be a virtual appointment, using a video call. The details of the appointment and link to the virtual 'OneConsultation' waiting room will be sent to you by text message. This link is easy to follow and the video call can be accessed from most devices including laptop, PCs, tablets, and smart phones (as long as the device is connected to the internet).
If you require a face to face appointment please contact the team, and this can be arranged in a clinic setting.
The appointment will be with a Perinatal Community Mental Health Nurse. This appointment will last about an hour and will give you the opportunity to discuss your current and past mental health, how you and your family are coping, and any worries you may have. We will explore how pregnancy or becoming a parent has affected your wellbeing.
Following assessment you will receive a letter which outlines the details of the assessment, and plan of care. It may be determined that the Perinatal Mental Health Team is not the most suitable service for you; in these instances we will refer you to the most appropriate service and provide you with the necessary information.
We understand it can be a difficult time and for some people, talking about the past and future worries can feel daunting at first. We also understand that there are many reasons why parents might worry about seeking help. Here are some of the barriers we know can stop parents accessing support when they most need it:
- Thinking that your worries and concerns are not important enough to ask for help.
- Thinking that by seeking help will reflect badly on your ability to parent.
- Thinking that talking about how you are feeling will make you feel worse.
- Thinking that admitting you are struggling will make others assume that you do not love or enjoy your baby enough.
We would like to assure all parents who use the service that we are here to help and support you. Struggling with emotions during the perinatal period can happen to anyone and it does not reflect badly on you as a person or a parent. We are here to help with the struggles experienced by many parents and babies, to ensure that you can feel as well as possible and enjoy life with your baby during this special time.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
Everyone referred to Midland Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has an electronic health record. This is confidential and can only be accessed by professionals involved in your care. We hold information on basic details such as date of birth and address. It also has contact details for your GP and other professionals that may be involved in your care. Details of your care and treatment are also recorded, including details of letters sent and received. This information is available to ensure that you receive the best possible care.
After your initial assessment, at discharge and at other periods of your care the professional involved will send you a letter. This will reflect discussions and plan of treatment. These letters will be written to you, unless you tell us that you do not want these. These letters are usually shared with your GP and other professionals involved in your care, this promotes a seamless informed approach to your care, and prevents you having to repeat information. Please let the professional who sees you know if there is any information that you do not want to share.
How can I be referred to the Shropshire Perinatal CMHT?
Please talk to your Midwife, GP, Health Visitor, or other healthcare professional for a referral to our service. They will be required to complete a referral form, further details can be found in information for professionals section on this page.
We are unable to accept self-referrals.
How can I get help in a crisis?
If you, or a family member, believes that you are in a crisis and require urgent response out of hours, please call Shropshire Access on Freephone 0808 196 4501 for telephone support, advice and triage.
If you are concerned about an immediate risk of harm to yourself or someone else, call 999 or attend A&E.
How can i provide feedback on the service?
The team really value feedback to continue to shape, review, and further develop the service. As you near discharge from the team you will be asked to complete a short survey on your experiences under the care of the team. If you need help to access or complete this survey please let your worker know and this can be arranged. We are interested in your honest opinions, whether they are positive or negative.
All feedback is anonymous, unless you choose to include personal details in your answers.
Alternatively you can contact PALS Patient Advice and Liaison Service:
Views from others that have received the service
It has been the best mental health experience I’ve ever encountered. I found it hugely reassuring, empowering and affirming. I’m in the most stable mental space I’ve been in for years. (read more in this blog post)
I found the group really helpful as it gave me inclusion when I've felt so alone. I hesitated whether to attend the first meeting as I was super anxious about facing new people, unsure if I would participate or not if I did attend. But I was really pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to be there and talk and share and just take as much from it as I could. The team made it very comfortable for all who attended and put us at ease. Definitely worth it for anyone who is considering joining. Learnt some useful coping tips and strategies.
I felt the support within the team was great, I had access to nurses and therapists. I felt like the quality and type of care I received was great. I felt once I had got into the service, I was able to contact somebody to help at all times, I felt like your availability was really supportive.
Psychologist facilitated my EMDR sessions and she is a truly compassionate and empathetic person. I can tell that she champions her service users and she lifted me up and showed me so much kindness at a time where I didn’t show myself much kindness. She made the daunting task of trauma based therapy that bit easier
The most helpful thing for my recovery was a mixture of different things. The therapeutic treatment really helped. I also found the support of the team really helpful as I could really trust them and they were not judgemental.
This is the best service I have ever come into contact with.
Information on common perinatal mental health conditions
Mind is a UK registered charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Their website has detailed information about the following conditions:
- perinatal depression
- perinatal anxiety
- perinatal Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- postpartum psychosis
- postnatal PTSD and birth trauma
How to support your partner
Pregnancy hormones can impact on the mother's emotions during pregnancy. Mothers can also experience mixed emotions about the pregnancy and the impact a new baby may have on their current life. It is difficult to know how to support the mother (your partner), especially if their mental health is affected. It may also impact on your relationship.
The following links may be of help:
- Supporting Your Partner During Pregnancy (on the Tommy's website)
- Partners Emotional Changes During Pregnancy (on the Tommy's website)
- Relationship problems and pregnancy (on the Tommy's website)
- Helping someone with perinatal mental health problems (on the Mind website)
It’s natural for a mother to feel tearful or anxious in the early stages after baby is born due to hormone changes, as well as adjusting to life as a new mum, or having another child if this isn't your first. When the mother's mental health doesn't improve it is difficult to know how to support them. The mother may have been through a traumatic birthing experience and finding it difficult to come to terms with.
The following links may be of help:
- Supporting a Wife or Partner After the Birth (the Tommy's website)
- How to support a mum with a new baby (on the Birthability website)
- How can dads and partners support breastfeeding (on the National Childbirth Trust website)
- How do I support my partner after a birth they found traumatic (on the National Childbirth Trust website)
Understanding your own mental health support needs
Getting ready to be a parent can feel overwhelming at times. You may feel under pressure to be happy, strong and supportive for your partner. Having a baby brings with it a lot of changes. You may be worried about changes in your relationship, about whether you will be a good parent, or even financial worries. You may feel pressure by the demands of parenthood, and may have supported your partner through a traumatic birthing experience and found the experience difficult or traumatic yourself. It is important to tell someone how you're feeling and ask for help if you need it.
The following links may be of help:
- Dads and partners can also become depressed during pregnancy (on the Tommy's website)
- Relationships after having a baby for dads and partners (on the Tommy's website)
- Looking after your mental health after baby is born for dads and partners (on the Tommy's website)
- Partners experiencing perinatal and postnatal depression (on the Mind website)
- Fathers and Partners Page (on the Birth Trauma Association website)
Information on how to get support for your own mental health needs
Where to get help or support:
- talk to you GP. Mind have produced a video about how you might approach these discussions
- talk to your partner's Care Coordinator to discuss your concerns or needs
- talk to specialist organisations offering support
There are several organisations who specialise in helping and supporting partners during this time:
- PANDAS Dads on Facebook offers information for men experiencing postnatal depression
- National Childbirth Trust offers information, support and events to support new parents in their local area
- The Birth Trauma Association has information and support for partners of someone who's experienced a difficult birth
- The Fatherhood Institute works on policy and research to support fathers
- Postpartum Men offers support and information for fathers experiencing postnatal depression, including an online peer support forum
- Pink Parents offers support for gay and lesbian parents.
- Fathers' Mental Health offers support around postnatal depression
Information for Professionals
The Specialist Perinatal CMHT is commissioned to support women who experience high-risk mental health problems during and after pregnancy, and for their infant up to the age of one year.
The team will work to provide assessment, care and treatment including the prevention, detection and management of maternal mental health problems that complicate pregnancy and the postpartum year. Poorly managed perinatal mental health problems can have serious consequences for the mother, her infant and other family members.
Perinatal mental health problems affect at least 1 in 5 women, with 3-5% of women experiencing a serious psychiatric disorder and the single greatest indirect cause for UK maternal deaths in the perinatal period.
We have a shift coordinator available from Monday to Friday between 1:30pm and 5:00pm to provide advice to any health or social care professionals working with women who are receiving support from either primary of secondary mental health services, and are either pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or have a baby under 12 months of age.
We have a leaflet and poster for printing and displaying in your waiting areas and patient information stands. Hard copies are available upon request.