Circular puzzle with piece highlighted in the middle and a picture of a mum, dad and baby in the middle

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 problems.

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

    • Some women and families may need the support of wider adult mental health services, and/or child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).


    • Wider mental health services for adults include crisis and acute services, community mental health care, psychological therapies, specialist liaison mental health teams in hospitals and the ambulance service.


    • Adult mental health services that care for women with serious mental illness need to discuss potential mental health problems in pregnancy, arrange pre-conception counselling, offer psychological therapies and refer at-risk women who are pregnant to a specialist perinatal mental health (PMH).


    • CAMHS need to collaborate with relevant statutory and voluntary organisations to provide high-quality, accessible mental health support to infants, children and young adults aged 0–18 and their parents and carers.

If you would like further information about mental health services, please see:

    1. Mental health services and teams in the community (Royal College of Psychiatrists)
    2. Early Intervention Framework for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing (NHS Scotland)

If you are aware of any resources it would be useful to add, please email


Next: Parent-infant services →