New mums at risk of poor mental health will be given access to increased support including counselling and befriending services.
The rollout is part of a £50 million Scottish Government investment in mental health services for new mums, babies and young children announced by the First Minister earlier this year.
An initial £1 million will support several key areas, including helping the third sector provide counselling, befriending and peer support for women and their families.
The funding will see new and expectant mothers get more consistent access to psychological assessment and treatment.
It will also be used to increase staffing and training at Mother and Baby Units for the 2,250 women with the most serious illnesses and to develop mental health services for babies.
Announcing the funding at Aberlour’s Perinatal Befriending Service in Forth Valley, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“It’s crucial that these services are led by the needs of women, young children and families.
“We have sought the views of people who have experienced mental health issues during and after pregnancy – their voices have influenced where this money will go and the services it will deliver.
“Our vision is of a Scotland where women, young children and families do not face fear or stigma when experiencing mental health issues.”
Aberlour Chief Executive SallyAnn Kelly said:
“I welcome this funding for third sector organisations who are striving to deliver high quality perinatal services to new parents and parents-to-be. To give children the best start in life, it is vital we support parents effectively.
“Aberlour has worked with over 300 families across Forth Valley and East Lothian but our ambition is to roll the Perinatal Befriending Service out across Scotland so that every parent, no matter where they live, has access to personalised support and assistance when and where they need it most.”
Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of women, 11,000 every year in Scotland, and covers a wide range of conditions such as postpartum psychosis and postnatal depression.
The Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board was established in April 2019 to implement the commitments to improve perinatal and infant mental health set out in the 2018/19 Programme for Government and the Better Mental Health in Scotland
Read the First Minister’s commitment to invest £50 million to perinatal and infant mental health over the next four years.