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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.

What is the direct delivery model?

The direct delivery model provides an opportunity for training across a multi-professional audience, where we provide specialist trainers to work alongside local leads to build capacity to deliver a high quality training programme which is locally reflective of care pathways and services in the region. We recommend cohorts of no more than 20 delegates for multi-professional training in order to allow for the professions to learn with, from and about each other, and to optimise exchange of experience and expertise in line with principles of inter-agency education (CAIPE – The Definition and Principles of Interprofessional Education, 2002). Higher cohort numbers of up to 30 can be accommodated in uni-professional direct delivery models without compromising learning or quality.

Multi-agency training

An integrated training approach through multi-agency training is central to the future of coordinated and integrated perinatal care. A balanced audience of professionals from across the perinatal journey supports networking and valuable discussion leading to greater recognition of roles.

Talk to us about multi-agency delivery of some of our direct delivery programmes. Our awareness programmes have been successfully delivered across professions and agencies and could be suited to participants drawn from:

  • mental health medical, nursing and allied health professionals;
  • obstetric and midwifery teams;
  • health visitors;
  • general practitioners and practice nurses;
  • emergency teams e.g. paramedics, clinical supervisors 111 services
  • social care – social workers and family support workers;
  • early years and children’s centre staff;
  • voluntary groups working locally to support families.



PIMH Training Programmes options


IMH Awareness Training

This is a new programme – we have now delivered Infant Mental Health Awareness training to 60 participants using this programme (June 2017).

1 Day
Multi-agency or uni-professional delivery

PMH Awareness Training

Participating in this training will equip the trainee to work alongside families over the following modules: Perinatal mental illness and why it matters Recognition and detection of perinatal mental illness Impact of parental mental health on the infant Safeguarding and risk Networks and pathways Everyone’s business: your role, communication and interventions The module titles mirror the

1 Day
Multi-agency or uni-professional delivery