The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has revealed an innovative peer support project which aims to improve pregnant women’s mental health.
The project has been funded by the Department of Health’s Innovation, Excellence, and Strategic Development Fund, which will see NCT team up with the Institute of Health Visitors (iHV) to train peer supporters, to support women following pregnancy.
Supporters within the project will be women who have experienced perinatal mental health issues and will be trained to assist other women going through similar situations.
Head of Research at NCT, Sarah McMullen said: “We know that women who are suffering from perinatal mental health problems can gain huge support from women who have been through similar experiences themselves.
“Trained peer supporters have the potential to be real agents for change – promoting positive mental health in their communities, raising awareness, and supporting women if they need to engage with specialist services.”
Volunteers will be trained in three areas across England, before going on to provide one-to-one and group-based support in the community.
The peer support project builds on NCT’s work with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and their #BeyondBabyBlues social media campaign, to raise awareness of perinatal mental health issues, as well as campaigning for improved mental health services across the UK.
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