We know that a good start in life is crucial for children as it will influence their future for years to come.
The period during pregnancy and a child's first year of life can be a period when mothers and fathers are vulnerable to mental health issues, and we also know that perinatal mental health disorders have a high rate of morbidity and mortality associated with them.
That is why the College has already undertaken a significant amount of work to ensure that there are effective, evidence-based perinatal mental health services in place to meet the needs of parents.
This work has already influenced a significant expansion in the provision of specialist in-patient and community perinatal mental health services in England and Scotland. It has also led to a commitment for the ongoing expansion of these services in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Our new College Report provides an opportunity to embed and build further on this progress. It sets out best practice principles, guidance to services and workforce recommendations. These recommendations explicitly reflect the importance of psychiatrists from a wide range of mental health specialties understanding their role in supporting better perinatal mental health.
Dr Jo Black, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Perinatal Faculty said:
“We are delighted to be publishing this report today as it offers through its evidence and advice an excellent opportunity to improve further access to high quality perinatal mental healthcare when needed.
"As we come through the pandemic, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that not only is the progress in perinatal mental healthcare services maintained, but it is also enhanced further. This report provides a strong foundation in support of that objective"
CR232 - Perinatal mental health services: Recommendations for the provision of services for childbearing women
Our new College Report summarises the latest evidence base for the extent and impact of perinatal mental disorder and opportunities for intervention.