Kent and Medway launch new mental health service for birth trauma and perinatal loss

Maternal mental health service launched in Kent and Medway

A new maternal mental health service has been launched in Kent and Medway to support families after birth trauma or perinatal loss.

The service has been launched by Medway NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT). Initially launched by KMPT in 2021, “Thrive” is described as “an inclusive, multi professional service, offering assessment and short-term interventions specifically for psychological trauma, as a result of birth trauma and/or perinatal loss”.

Access to the service is available to “those who have previously received psychological care and treatment from primary care or counselling services but are still experiencing trauma symptoms and require further treatment”. Direct referrals can also be accepted from health and social care professionals involved in a patient’s care.

Donna Collins, mental health midwife at Medway NHS FT, said: “Raising awareness of perinatal mental health is important so we can change attitudes, and be an advocate for women and families affected by mental health difficulties. We want to help families to access the resources available in their local area.”

Jayne Black, chief executive for Medway NHS FT, commented: “Looking after the mental health of pregnant women, new mothers and those who have experienced birth loss or birth trauma is a top priority for the NHS. One in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or after birth, and 70 per cent of them will not seek advice or support as they do not think it is important or do not want to be a burden.

“We are in no doubt of the benefits that service users and their wider families will experience as a result of the Trust offering the specialist support that Thrive has to offer.”