Starting a family can be both an exciting and challenging time. It’s normal to feel emotional and nervous about adjusting to life as a parent.
If however you are experiencing depression and/or anxiety or other significant mental health difficulty or you are at risk of becoming mentally unwell our team can advise and support you. We work across Nottinghamshire and Bassetlaw with women from 13 weeks pregnant (once the pregnancy is confirmed by scan) up to around one year after having their baby.
If you or your family have concerns about your mental health speak to your GP, midwife, health visitor or other health professional involved in your care. They are able to advise whether we are the most appropriate service to help and can make a referral to our service if required. In some circumstances we are not always able to offer appointments to all women referred as a different service may be more suitable.
We are based in Greenhaven at Hopewood in Nottingham which is a specialist service for Perinatal Psychiatry. We offer appointments here at Greenhaven and we also see many women in different venues across the County including visiting women at home where this is appropriate.
When we receive a referral from any source, we make contact with you either by phone or letter depending on the urgency of the referral.
Where it is appropriate an initial appointment for assessment is offered. This can be face to face at a clinic or a video appointment depending on your needs.
The assessment will be carried out by a member of the team who will discuss your mental health and what is important to you in your pregnancy or after you have had your baby. It is an opportunity to talk through your concerns. At the end of the assessment we will make a plan of care. If it is felt that you do not need our service, we will advise and explore alternative support.
If it is felt that your needs are best met from our service a treatment plan will be agreed with you and can involve other members of the team depending on your needs. As part of the Perinatal Community Mental Health Team we have medics, psychiatric nurses, mother infant therapist, nursery nurses, psychologists, peer support workers, social work, and occupational therapists who can work with you and your family in your recovery.
You will have regular group or one to one appointments during your time with the service to help support you in your recovery. All our treatment is tailored to you and your needs and includes guidance for partners and families.
Some of the interventions, help and types of advice we may offer you include:
We most often work with women and their families until baby is around 1 year old, but we will regularly review this with you and not all women need to stay in our service until this time. When your mental health is getting better, we will begin to prepare you for staying well in the future. This can include supporting you with a WRAP plan ( wellness and recovery action plan) and moving on from our service.
Sometimes women do not fully recover during the perinatal period and in this case, we will discuss other health and support services moving forward. We will look at this together and help identify the support you might need – this could mean continuing the treatment with our team until up to 2 years post-partum or we could make a referral to other services if required. The wishes of the mother are very important to us.
It’s up to you who attends your appointments. Some women prefer to be seen alone however we would welcome involvement from partners, carers or support networks at appointments.
The most important thing is for you to attend. If you are post partum please bring your baby if possible. It is not essential but it is useful to have your hand held maternity notes and a list of any current medication your take.
Please contact us on the number provided on your appointment letter to let us know if you no longer wish to attend.
Some women are understandably anxious and our staff can offer some reassurance and answer any concerns / questions you might have. We realise sometimes due to childcare, illness or other commitments you may need to re-arrange appointments please contact the team to discuss.
Your appointment like all those in healthcare are treated as confidential. However, you will be asked at your initial assessment if you are happy for information to be shared for professionals also involved in your care such as your GP, Obstetrician and midwife.
In certain circumstances if there are concerns regarding your safety or others safety that information will be shared. If you would like to discuss this further please contact the team to discuss
This a common worry but most families under the care of our service don’t require social services involvement. If there are concerns regarding risks towards your children then you will be involved in these discussions.
Families often worry that a referral to children’s social care will result in their baby or child being removed, in reality this is very rare, and most social care involvement is aimed at supporting you to remain together as a family.
The majority of support we offer is within the community. In rare circumstances we may suggest hospital admission if it is felt suitable and necessary to provide treatment within this setting.
There is no set admission length and this varies depending on a women’s difficulties and the appropriate treatment plan. This will be discussed throughout your admission with you and your family. We aim to keep people in hospital for no longer than necessary.
Please see resources section for help in supporting your partner. We also encourage partners and families to seek support for themselves. Please see the resource section and telephone if you have any futher questions.
We currently support Women starting from 13 weeks gestation up until 1 year post partum however each woman/family is considered on a individual basis and may need differing lengths of time under the service. It may be that we advise alternative services/agencies during this time period.
If you are unhappy with your care or the service you have received, it is important to let us know so we can improve. It is worthwhile discussing your concerns early on with the service, as they may be able to sort the issue out quickly. Most problems can be dealt with at this stage but, in some cases, you may feel more comfortable speaking to someone not directly involved in your care please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).