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One in five women experiences mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year after birth.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to access support through a range of services.
If you're a professional, the Perinatal Training Hub aims to help us learn and understand more about perinatal mental health, perinatal psychological distress and how to get specialist support and for mums, birthing people, parents and families in the perinatal period.
Mersey Care offers pregnancy planning support appointments if you are thinking about, or planning to have, a baby, and:
- have a history of complex mental health problems or are taking medication for mental health problems
- are worried about the impact having a baby will have on your mental health
- have anxiety around pregnancy, childbirth or becoming a parent.
You can call your local team to refer yourself. https://www.merseycare.nhs.uk/our-services/liverpool/specialist-perinatal-service
The Cheshire and Mersey Specialist Perinatal Service provides important mental health assessment and support for local women and birthing people experiencing mental health issues during this time.
Working in partnership as part of a Cheshire and Merseyside wide service. We have three teams covering Liverpool and Sefton and a team covering Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington.
Specialist assessment and support
We provide one-to-one assessment and ongoing support for women and birthing people who are pregnant or have a baby who is under 24 months, and:
- Are currently experiencing complex or severe mental health problems
- Have a history of or are at risk of developing severe or complex mental health problems during the perinatal period, even if they are currently well.
We offer one-off preconception appointments to provide advice, guidance and signposting to support women who are thinking about or planning to have a baby, who:
- Have a history of complex mental health problems or are taking medication for mental health problems
- Are worried about the impact having a baby will have on their mental health
- Have anxiety around pregnancy, childbirth or becoming a parent.
Phone consultation and advice for health professionals
We provide advice over the phone for any health or social care professionals working with women who are receiving support from primary or secondary mental health services and are either pregnant, planning a pregnancy or have a baby who is under 24 months.
- The Specialist Perinatal Service supports women* and families across Cheshire and Merseyside to access specialist advice about their mental health during the perinatal period (pregnancy to 24 months postnatal)
- We support all women of childbearing age (no upper or lower age limit to refer). Where the woman is under 18 years of age, joint working with CAMHs will be recommended
- We support women who are registered or in the process of registering with a GP located within Cheshire and Merseyside.
*The term ‘woman’ is used however, it is acknowledged that not all people referred identify with this term. The Specialist Perinatal Service is inclusive of all people giving birth.
- We do not currently accept self-referrals but women can be referred to our service by any professional supporting them such as GP, midwives, health visitors, social workers, voluntary sector agencies
- Please make sure you have consent from the woman to make the referral and please advise all women to expect a call from a duty clinician when we receive this referral to complete a telephone triage
- Routine and urgent referrals into the service are made by completing our referral form and emailing this to your local Specialist Perinatal Service
- Emergency referrals do not require a referral form and should be made via telephone to the local Specialist Perinatal Service between Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Cheshire and Wirral – 0151 488 8434
Mersey Care (Halton, Warrington, St Helens and Knowsley) – 01925 275 303
Mersey Care (Liverpool and Sefton) – 0151 702 4012
- Outside of these working hours referrers should contact our of hours services such as Mental Health Crisis Lines (24/7) - visit our urgent help page.
If you are concerned that you might have post-natal depression, it is a good idea to raise this with your GP or health visitor, if you feel able to. It may be helpful to discuss this with a close family member, friend or loved one, and they may be able to support you going forward.
PSS provide a Parent and Baby Wellness service, which you can be referred to.
Parent and Baby Wellness
Support for new and expectant parents/carers experiencing perinatal depression in Liverpool
The PSS Parent and Baby Wellness service supports new and expectant parents and carers in Liverpool who are experiencing perinatal or postnatal depression and anxiety. We focus on helping them build strong, happy and healthy relationships with their babies.
We work with parents during pregnancy and during the first two years of their child’s life. This early and preventative work can contribute to a reduction of issues in later life and give children the best start.
We provide community-based perinatal and postnatal depression support, with sessions delivered on a one-to-one or group basis. The service will provide a minimum number of six-to-eight contact sessions with clients, allocated on the basis of need.
One-to-one support options:
- Enhanced listening
- Self-esteem and confidence building
- Education about post-natal depression
- Support with any bonding and attachment issues
- Relaxation, mindfulness and signposting to other services
Group support options:
- Parents can choose to attend a six-week Mums Matter course.
- Signposting to other relevant courses delivered in the local community.
If you think this might help, speak with your health visitor or GP as early as possible.
Losing a baby is a very difficult and tragic experience for anybody to go through. Traumatic birth experience is also a very hard thing to experience. If either of these things sadly happen to you, there is support you can access.
The Maternal Mental Health Service provides interventions for women who have experienced distress, loss or trauma during the maternity and birth journey.
This service is available to women and birthing people who live in Cheshire, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Warrington and Wirral and who have experienced distress, loss or trauma during pregnancy and birth.
It doesn’t matter how long ago you experienced this distress, loss or trauma – you can still access this service.
Psychological therapy and support for areas such as:
- Birth trauma
- Extreme fear of childbirth
- Miscarriage and stillbirth
- Loss in neonatal setting or neonatal period
- Loss of a baby to social care in the maternity setting following birth.
This service can offer a choice of interventions for these difficulties, and they work really closely with other services to make sure you can receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
The dedicated specialist perinatal midwives work to support the reduction of distress and to improve your wellbeing in pregnancy.
You can be referred to this service by any healthcare professional such as midwives, health visitors, GPs, social workers, therapists or counsellors.
Many of your appointments will be virtual, using video technology, or they might call you on the phone.
The service will also work to offer face to face appointments where this feels safe and appropriate. If you feel worried about any of this then you can talk to the team.
Money worries can cause or contribute to mental ill health and stress.
Don't struggle alone - if you have concerns about your finances, debt, or housing, please speak to a health care professional (such as your health visitor, midwife or GP) about how these problems are negatively impacting your health.
If you are pregnant or have a young child, you can get a referral to the Citizen's Advice Perinatal Service - or you can self refer to the Citizen's Advice service yourself.
The safety and welfare of children - or safeguarding - is everyone's business. You could be a neighbour, friend, parent, relative, childminder, teacher or doctor - or working for any organisation which has contact with children and young people.
Safeguarding means protecting children from physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. It also means helping children to grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.
Most children generally enjoy a happy childhood experiences within their own family. Unfortunately for some, this is not the case. During difficult family times, everyone who knows the child must do the best they can to keep them safe and protect them from future harm.
If you are a member of the public and have a concern about a child please contact Careline on 0151 233 3700 or Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 or 999 in an emergency.
You should report your concerns if you feel that:
- A child needs protection – if a child is suffering harm, neglect or abuse, we can investigate and act to protect them.
- A family is under stress – we can offer support and advice and help families access support from other services.
- A child is seriously ill or disabled – we can arrange an assessment of the child’s and families needs and provide support.
Liverpool Safeguarding Adults Board aims to ensure all adults in the city live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives safe from abuse and neglect.
Working alongside local communities and partner organisations, LSAB aim to promote the health and wellbeing of our residents so they can live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives, have choice and control, safe from abuse and neglect.
The Care Act (2014) requires each local authority to set up a Safeguarding Adults Board. The main objective of the Board is to assure itself that local safeguarding arrangements and partners act to help and protect adults in its area who:
- have needs for care and support
- are experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
- as a result of those care and support needs, are unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect
Each Safeguarding Adults Board has three core duties. It must:
- publish a strategic plan for each financial year
- publish an annual report
- conduct Safeguarding Adults Reviews
If you need to report an urgent safeguarding concern and believe that an individual is at serious risk of harm which will require a response within 48 hours, please call Careline on 0151 233 3800.
Mental Health Support
Telephone support for people experiencing a mental health crisis via the freephone numbers below.
Anyone aged 16 and over. For urgent mental health support, please call the Mersey Care 24/7 freephone helpline: 0800 145 6570
Talk Liverpool provides psychological treatments, sometimes called talking therapy, to help people who have common mental health problems such as feeling stressed, feeling low in mood (depressed) or very nervous (anxiety).
Mental Health text service
There is a free, confidential, 24/7 text message support is available for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. Trained volunteers will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. They can help with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression and are able to talk via text at any time of day or night. Simply text the code and number for the area you live in for immediate support.
- Adults Text HEAL to 85258 for immediate support, available 24/7
- Children and young people should Text GREEN to 85258 for immediate support, available 24/7.
The Life Rooms
The Life Rooms is available to anyone 18+ and you can self refer or be referred by a health professional.
- Online staying well at home learning courses
- Pathway advisors who can support and advise with debt management, employment, housing issues, benefits
- Social inclusion advice for isolated community groups.
Zero suicide Alliance
The alliance is ultimately concerned with improving support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of and promoting FREE suicide prevention training which is accessible to all.
Campaign Against Living Miserably
A registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58
As a national charity, they work towards building a society which speaks openly about suicide and has the resources to help young people who may have suicidal thoughts.
Phone: 0800 068 41 41
Text: 07786 209 697