Welsh Government announces £220,000 to improve mental health support for new mothers

The WelshGovernment has announced that every Local Authority in Wales will receive£10,000 to provide Flying Start and Families First professionals withadditional training to enable them to better help new and expectant mothersexperiencing mental health problems.

Lesley GriffithsAM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, said: “Through ourFamilies First and Flying Start programmes, professionals work closely withfamilies to provide co-ordinated, tailored support, which is invaluable to manyfamilies and new mothers.

“Thefunding I have announced will build on the skills and knowledge of theseprofessionals so they can spot the signs of perinatal mental health problemsearly and provide support to mothers when they need it most.”  

The Flying Startand Families First teams will work closely with families to tackle childpoverty and improve outcomes for families across Wales. The announcementfollows feedback from staff, who were keen to further develop their skills sothey could identify and support mothers experiencing mental health problemsduring the perinatal period, which extends from the start of the pregnancyuntil their child is one year old.

Perinatal mentalhealth issues can have a serious impact on the mother’s wellbeing and thechild’s development, as it can affect strong bonds from being formed.

WelshGovernment Chief Nursing Officer, Jean White, said: “Perinatalmental health problems are more common than people think. For example postnatal anxiety and depression can affect as many as 15-20% of mothers in thefirst year after child birth, and if no help and support is available it cancause real problems for the family. For this reason early intervention isabsolutely crucial.”Today’s announcement will help ensure staff areable to identify these problems promptly, offer interventions, and whereappropriate support mothers into specialist services.”