Defining essential perinatal mental health care: mental health services

The MMHA’s ‘Make all care count’ campaign phase highlights and defines eight essential services that can play a crucial role in improving outcomes for women and families affected by perinatal mental health (PMH) problems.

Currently, access to comprehensive PMH care is not equal. Action is needed to ensure these essential services are commissioned, funded and resourced. The MMHA will release resources to identify gaps and the impact they could have on women, babies and families.

What is the role of mental health services in providing essential PMH care?


Hannah’s story

"My condition became so bad I was sectioned in a general psychiatric ward, separated from my son and diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. I had no history of mental illness and developing postpartum psychosis was a complete shock and extremely traumatic."

Read more

Further reading

If you would like more information about the vital role of GPs and other primary care professionals, please see:

CCQI Standards for Community Perinatal Mental Health Services, 6th Ed

Royal College of Psychiatrists Pdf, 516.0kb

Published: June 2023

These standards are designed to be applicable to community perinatal services and can be used by professionals to assess the quality of the team. The standards may also be of interest to commissioners, patients, carers, researchers and policy makers.

APP Insider Guides - Recovery after postpartum psychosis

Action on Postpartum Psychosis Pdf, 657.8kb

Published: March 2018

Mums who have recovered from postpartum psychosis gave us their tips for the first year of recovery and beyond.

APP Insider Guides - Planning pregnancy; A Guide For Women At High Risk Of PP

Action on Postpartum Psychosis Pdf, 907.5kb

Published: March 2018

Women with bipolar disorder, or with experience of PP, told us about the issues they faced when planning for a baby. This guide brings together advice from professionals and families about getting the support you need in pregnancy and birth.