Perinatal mental illness has a significant impact not only on the sufferer, but also on their family. This can be of particular concern for rapidly developing infants in the absence of other carers able to provide the quality emotional contact every infant needs. Advances in neurosciences, the importance of early neural developments and research on how this is very much interdependent on parental mental health has led to a current drive to ensure that the perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) is a public health priority.
The following training programmes have been developed by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), with the aim of delivering perinatal mental health training to both health visiting and multi-agency audiences. The training provides an awareness level of training, which is suitable to all those working on a daily basis with mothers and their families in the perinatal period, to recognise and manage (appropriate to role and responsibilities) mild to moderate perinatal mental illness, to understand the impact of these disorders on the infant, family and society and to know when to refer on.