Health Professionals

Many clinicians are involved in the prevention, detection and treatment of perinatal mental illness, across both universal and specialist services. These include (but are not limited to) midwives, health visitors, obstetricians, psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals.

This page sets out a number of tools and resources which might be useful for clinicians working with women with perinatal mental health problems. These are in three sections:

  • Information about useful networks and forums
  • Links to online training
  • A list of resources for specific professional groups

Networks and Forums

Regional Strategic Clinical Networks for Perinatal Mental Health provide clinicians and commissioners with leadership and support to improve perinatal mental health services. Strategic Clinical Networks for perinatal mental health sit within wider Maternity or Mental Health networks. The networks co-ordinate the expertise of commissioners, healthcare providers, academics, policy makers and families to deliver quality improvements in outcomes and patient experience. You can find out more about your local clinical network through the NHS England website..

Clinicians in universal and primary care services should also look at the Maternal Mental Health Network which provides resources, news and online forums to support those working in services that support women with perinatal mental health problems.

For those working in specialist perinatal mental health services, the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Quality Network for Perinatal Mental Health Services works with specialist perinatal mental health teams to improve the quality of mental health care for new mothers.

Online training

E-Learning for Health Care modules on perinatal mental health

This Perinatal Mental Health programme has been designed to help educate and increase awareness of issues arising from perinatal mental health. It has two parts. There are sessions designed specifically for Health Visitors, and five more general sessions aimed at raising awareness and understanding of mental health problems in the perinatal period for any professionals who may come into contact with women during this time. This programme was developed by the Institute for Health Visiting, Royal College of GPs and Department of Health.


Learning modules on maternal mental health

The Maternal and Child Health and Psychology teams at NHS Education for Scotland produced two modules of online training around perinatal mental health. Each module represents around 2 ½ hours of learning and will be of interest to anyone who works with pregnant women and new families, including health visitors, midwives, GPs, obstetricians, paediatricians, neonatal nurses, mental health teams, substance misuse teams, psychologists and third sector organisations.

Resources for specific professional groups



Falling through the gaps: Perinatal Mental Health and General Practice (RCGP)

Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit (RCGP)



Specialist Health Visitors in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health: What they do and why they matter (HEE)



Perinatal Positive Practice Guide 2013 (IAPT)



Caring for Women with Perinatal Mental Health Problems: Standards and Competency Framework (RCM)

Specialist Mental Health Midwives: What they do and why they matter (MMHA, RCM and NSPCC)



Management of Women with Mental Health Issues during Pregnancy and the Postnatal Period (Good Practice No. 14) (RCOG)



Perinatal mental health services: recommendations for the provision of services for childbearing women (RCPsych)



MABIM Leaders’ Top Tips Report on Developing a Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Community Service



Service Standards for Perinatal Mental Health Community Services (3rd edition) (CCQI, RCPysch)



Service Standards for Mother and Baby Units (4th edition) (CCQI, RCPysch)