Home-Start welcomes a new roadmap published by the Royal College of Midwives, calling for the strengthening of perinatal mental health support.

Midwives play a crucial role in picking up perinatal mental health issues and have an integral role in referring parents to Home-Starts services. Fewer midwives available to work with families, means less time to identify challenges and less time to spend with parents to build up the trust to accept a referral.

The roadmap highlights that one-in-five women will experience mental health issues during pregnancy and up to a year after birth, ranging from anxiety and depression to more significant illness. Furthermore, suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in new mothers up to the first year after giving birth.

This roadmap sets out the recommendations to improve perinatal mental health in the UK and ensure new mothers receive the support they need.

Alex Corgier, Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Lead for Home-Start UK said “Midwives have that all-important role of spotting the first signs of when a mother might be struggling with her mental health and referred, to Home-Start and other voluntary and community sector support services in the holistic multi-agency approach we strive for within our work at Home-Start UK. It’s important that Midwives have access to the training and support needed to identify when parents are struggling with their mental health, and the support that could help them. Hopefully, this roadmap will encourage the investment and changes that are needed.”

You can watch our video to find out more about how Home-Start supports families during the perinatal period.