Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed funding approval for a new perinatal mental health delivery model for Northern Ireland, and applauded those charities who have campaigned many years for such investment.
Health Minister Robin Swann announced funding for the model, which will provide new multidisciplinary community perinatal mental health teams in each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts. Teams will provide maternity and mental health care to women experiencing mental health difficulties in the perinatal period.
“I welcome the development of specialist perinatal mental health services and the new community service model delivered through multi-disciplinary teams. This is particularly apt given the added dimension of fear around contracting the virus during pregnancy,” said Ms Bradshaw.
“This is a long overdue step and I commend those, particularly in children’s and women’s charities, who have campaigned for this over many years.
“While I share their joy at this news, it is vital we now move as quickly as possible to turn it into a reality. At this time of limited companionship at ante-natal appointments and a greatly reduced ability of family to provide practical support during the special early weeks of a baby’s life, it is vital the investment is released swiftly and services and programmes operational as a matter of urgency.”