Perinatal Mental Health Service

Service description

Mental health problems are common in pregnancy and in the post-delivery period. The Perinatal Mental Health Service offers assessment and treatment to women experiencing mental health difficulties during pregnancy and within the first year after delivery. This specialist care is delivered close to the maternity unit of your choice, your home or in community centres depending on your preference.

The service covers the five London boroughs of Hillingdon, Harrow and Brent, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea and work closely with the maternity services of Northwick Park, Hillingdon, Chelsea and Westminster and St Mary’s hospitals.

Our teams are multidisciplinary and include psychiatrists, specialist nurses, psychologists, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and dedicated administrators. The teams work closely with maternity services and their mental health lead midwives, with health visitors, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), general practitioners (GPs), community services and voluntary organisations.

Who is the service for?

Woman living in or registered with a GP in the London boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster are eligible to access the service.

What we offer?

  • Preconception advice for women with complex or severe mental health problems
  • Assessment and care for women with mental health needs during pregnancy and for 12 months after birth (many women do not need to be seen for the whole 12 months)
  • Advice on the risks and benefits of using mental health medication in pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Care planning for pregnant women with severe mental health problems
  • Planning for the postnatal period to promote wellbeing and prevent relapse
  • Identification and management of the impact of obstetric complications on a woman’s mental health
  • Giving access to the most appropriate type of psychological interventions
  • Advice and support on the mother-infant relationship.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Who can be referred

You might be referred to our service if:

  • You are planning a pregnancy and need advice about your mental health and treatment
  • You are pregnant or have given birth in the last 12 months, and have experienced mental health problems in the past
  • You have a relapse of a previous mental illness during pregnancy or in the first 12 months after your baby is born
  • You have a mental illness for the first time during pregnancy or in first 12 months after birth.

How to be referred

We accept referrals from several health professionals including midwives, obstetricians, GPs, health visitors, and other mental health professionals.

Please ask to your GP, midwife, obstetrician or health visitor to be referred to our service. We can also provide information over the telephone.

Please note this is not an emergency service. If you are in a crisis and you need urgent help, please contact your GP or the out of hours urgent advice and crisis support on 0800 0234 650.

Your feedback matters

We believe that people with lived experience of mental health can make an important contribution in helping us improve our service and deliver better patient centred care. Please take a few moments to let us know what you think of our services by completing our online friends and family test survey.


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