Maternal Mental Health Service

This 12-month pilot will inform a full-service model across Greater Manchester.

The Maternal Mental Health Service will integrate maternity, reproductive health and psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience, including severe fear of childbirth (tokophobia), birth trauma or loss.

The pilot will work with a minimum of 75 women experiencing moderate/severe or complex mental health difficulties and will offer psychological interventions such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy and Compassion-Focused Therapy  to support them with emotional distress associated with trauma directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience.

This care will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary team that consists of a Clinical Psychologist, a Team Leader / Nurse Practitioner, a Psychology Assistant, a Specialist Mental Health Midwife, and administration support. The Maternal Mental Health Service is also working collaboratively with various VSCE services to ensure that additional peer support and further community signposting is available to those referred into the service. In addition, our collaborative approach with the VSCE services will allow us to offer assessment, referral support and signposting to partners and co-parents who will also have been affected by the experience.

During the 12-month period, the pilot will work as a prototype, co-producing the Greater Manchester Maternal Mental Health Service with people with lived experience over the first year, testing and shaping prior to finalising the model for full roll-out. Prototyping will shape the culture and ensure that the specialist psychological therapy offer is wrapped within person-centred care, as well as testing how the different ports of entry to accessing the service work and how the wider system needs to respond.

The pilot covers three boroughs:

  • Bolton
  • Tameside and Glossop
  • Central and South Manchester

The service works collaboratively with the following partners to deliver an integrated pathway across the three identified boroughs:

  • Maternity
  • Primary care e.g., GP and health visiting
  • Parent infant mental health services
  • Perinatal IAPT
  • Secondary care
  • Voluntary sector providers, specifically Rainbow, Spoons, Dad Matters, HomeStart
  • General adult mental health services
  • Mother and baby units including Andersen Ward, Laureate House

It’s hoped that by running the pilot across these areas the service will be able to identify demographic differences and adapt the final service model to meet the needs of all communities across Greater Manchester and develop effective pathways across Greater Manchester in 2023/24. The service started accepting referrals on 1st August 2021. For further information or to discuss a referral please email PerinatalCommunityMentalHealthTeam@GMMH.NHS.UK