Call for more health visitors specialising in mental health of expectant and new mothers

Two health organisations promote framework to help employers put more specialists in post   

The number of specialist health visitors in perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) needs to increase, according to Health Education England (HEE) and the Institute of Health Visiting (IHV).

HEE has published guidance, Specialist health visitors in PIMH: What they do and why they matter, which advises that women and their partners should have access to this type of healthcare professional. 

The document describes the role and highlights the importance of specialist health visitors working in partnership with maternity services, children’s centres and other healthcare professionals.

More than one in ten women will experience depression at some point during their pregnancy, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and this increases to one in five during the first year after giving birth. New fathers can also experience mental health problems.

IHV executive director Cheryll Adams said: 'Many areas of the country already have expert health visitors in PIMH. This framework provides employers with the information they require to create similar roles in their organisations.’

To read the guidance, click here.  

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