Perinatal mental health problems affect up to 20% of women at some point during pregnancy and for the first year after birth, yet only around half of all mothers with perinatal depression and anxiety are identified, and even fewer receive adequate treatment. Working with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance as a key stakeholder, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) set out to ensure women across the UK can access universal high-quality mental health care and support in the perinatal period. The College completed a 3-year programme from 2014-2017 to raise awareness, develop educational resources for GPs, influence the curriculum and promote collaborative working with other professions including midwives and health visitors.
Some of the main outputs of the Priority Programme can be found amongst the RCGP Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit, which is an open access collection of over 400 resources aimed at supporting those affected by perinatal mental health problems and those that care for them.
The College worked with the Wessex Clinical Network to collaborate on the “Spotlight Project” in Wessex which looked to build on the work of the priority programme at grassroots GP level. This 1-year pilot, led by Dr Carrie Ladd (RCGP Clinical Champion), was due to finish at the end of March 2018 but received additional funding for an extension.
Dr Carrie Ladd, RCGP Clinical Champion firstname.lastname@example.org