New mental health support service for mums in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster launches

25th April 2019

A new specialist mental health support service for mums in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster will officially launch at a ceremony at the Holiday Inn Rotherham on Wednesday 01 May.

The Sheffield Rotherham and Doncaster Perinatal Mental Health Service is run in partnership by Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and local perinatal peer support charity Light.

Thanks to the new service women in Doncaster will have access to specialist perinatal mental health services for the first time, with existing services in Sheffield and Rotherham being expanded.

The service will support around 600 women a year who are planning to have a baby, are pregnant or have recently given birth who have previously been diagnosed with a serious or complex mental health problem, or are thought to be developing one.

There will also be support for dads, partners and families.

The launch of the service coincides with World Maternal Mental Health Day, which aims to raise awareness of the mental health problems that 1 in 5 women will experience before, during and after pregnancy.

Shannon received support from the perinatal mental health service in Sheffield during her pregnancy, she said: “The service was an absolute lifeline for me, and without them I don't know how I would have managed my pregnancy. It was nice to know there was somewhere I could go, where I could speak openly about how I was feeling, and not be judged.

“The pressure to completely enjoy pregnancy is so big, and when you don't feel that way, you can be overridden with guilt. It is such a stressful time, and paired with the hormones and general life worries, for some people it can be absolutely dreadful.

“To other mums who are struggling, I'd urge them to seek support and speak about how they feel. There's no shame or embarrassment in struggling, and lots of other people feel the same way.”

Amy Jenkin, Service Lead for the Sheffield Rotherham and Doncaster Perinatal Mental Health Service, said: “I’m so proud of everyone involved with the new service and how hard they have worked to get it off the ground. Everyone has a real passion to support mums and families, and we share a genuine belief that even in the darkest moments with the right support people can get better. The relationships we have with our service users is paramount, and underpin the ethos of collaboration and compassion which is helping this new service to thrive.”

Rosie Johnson, Deputy Chief Executive at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new service is a perfect example of what can be achieved through partnership working to give families across Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster an improved service that better meets their needs. We are very proud to be part of this new collaboration.”

Tracy Haycox, Chief Executive at Light, said: “This is an exciting time for Light to be working in partnership with the Sheffield Rotherham and Doncaster Perinatal Mental Health Service and reaching out to women who need our services in our local communities. Light has more than eight years of experience offering a proven model of peer support delivered by people with lived experience to women and their families at the time that they need it the most.”

The new service received £880,000 of funding from NHS England as part of their national £365 million investment into perinatal mental health services.

You can find out more about the free support on offer to women in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster by clicking here.