Greater Manchester specialist perinatal community mental health teams
The teams are provided by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust and work in close partnership with parent infant mental health services, maternity and a wide range of other services in every borough to support women, their infants and families across Greater Manchester.
The services focus on the 1001 critical days from pregnancy to the age of one, aimed at promoting early identification, prevention and treatment. Another important aspect of our work is to raise awareness of perinatal and parent infant mental health in this critical period and the importance of the parent infant relationship. We offer training, support and consultation across health and social care services and the voluntary sector. We want to make sure that families receive the right help, at the right time by the right service and the partnerships with GPs, maternity services, children’s services, social care and adult mental health services and the voluntary sector organisations are key.
Every borough has an integrated perinatal and parent infant mental health pathway aimed at promoting a seamless, flexible and high-quality responsive care for all families. Families with lived experience are involved in the development and monitoring of the services.
Since 2018, three new specialist perinatal community mental health teams have been developed to provide comprehensive community support. Each team operates in a specific area of Greater Manchester:
- Cluster 1 – South Manchester, Stockport and Trafford
- Cluster 2 – Salford, Bolton, Bury and Wigan
- Cluster 3 – North Manchester, Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside
The hub of this service is the Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) Inpatient Unit (Andersen Ward), a ten bedded specialist ward based at Laureate House, Wythenshawe Hospital in South Manchester.
What is this service about?
The Specialist Perinatal Community Mental Health Team is a service for women experiencing moderate-severe mental health problems in the perinatal period, and for those with a past or family history of moderate to severe mental health difficulties.
Who do we see? Many things can affect how you feel about your baby and yourself. Having a baby or young child can be difficult at the best of times. Sometimes mental health problems, events from the past or present, can affect how you feel about your baby, and you may feel worried about some of the feelings you have. All these problems can affect anyone. We are there to provide extra support to you and your baby or child so that your relationship is a strong foundation for your future lives.
Where do we work? We try to find a setting where you and your baby or child feel comfortable. This could be your home, a children’s centre, health clinic or a children’s social care centre.
What do we offer? The aim of our service is to help you stay well during pregnancy and after your baby is born, We will support you with any mental health problems that you experience in the perinatal period, to help you to enjoy your baby and develop confidence as a parent, and to make sure that you, your family, and other professionals working with you have the information needed to help you at this time. Perinatal services can support you with the following:
- Advice about your risk of developing a mental health difficulty in pregnancy or the postnatal period and how to reduce the risk.
- Supporting you to manage and recover from mental health difficulties during the perinatal period.
- Helping you to weigh up the risks and benefits of using medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Psychological treatments (talking therapies). This can be on an individual basis or in a group.
- Support and advice to help you build both a positive relationship with your baby and a sense of confidence in being a parent.
- Helping you to plan for your care during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.
- Working closely with midwives, health visitors, adult mental health teams and GPs to ensure you get the right help at the right time.
- If you are already working with another mental health service, we can work alongside them to ensure you get specialist advice alongside your existing support.
- Supporting you to access specialist inpatient services (mother and baby unit) if this is required.
- Referring you to other services, which offer practical help and support for families. This could be a local voluntary service or charity.
Find out more about our service: www.gmmh.nhs.uk/perinatal-community