HSE launches new Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Model of Care

We are pleased to announce that the Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Mr Jim Daly, TD, launched the new Specialist Perinatal Mental Health: Model of Care for Ireland on Thursday, 30th November.

Perinatal mental health disorders are those which complicate pregnancy (antenatal) and the first postnatal year. They include both new onset and a relapse or reoccurrence of pre-existing disorders. Their unique aspect is their potential to affect the relationship between mother, child and family unit with consequent later development of significant emotional and behavioural difficulties in the child.

A national working group chaired by Dr. Margo Wrigley, the then National Clinical Advisor and Clinical Programmes Group Lead Mental Health led out on this project and the model of care now being implemented is the culmination of the work of that group.

At the launch, Minister Daly announced a further €2m recurring investment in funding for Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Teams from the Programme for Partnership funding (PFG) 2018. This follows the initial €1m funding from PFG 2016/2017. Recognising the importance of Perinatal Mental Health, the HSE’s Mental Health Division placed a particular focus on the development of a distinct model of care over the past year and are delighted to have such significant investment of funding to progress implementation of this Model of Care.

While the focus of this specialist service will be women with moderate to severe mental health problems, it will play a central role in educating and training all involved in the delivering of services to women during the antenatal and postnatal periods. The Model also describes the overall perinatal mental health clinical pathway in which the specialist perinatal mental health team will be a key component.

Importantly, this model of care provides for an integrated comprehensive specialist mental health service for women in Ireland regardless of where they are based.

Further information, including the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Model of Care, is available at the link below: