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Perinatal mental health

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Becoming a parent is a big life event

Perinatal Mental Health logoIt's natural to experience a range of emotions and reactions during and after your pregnancy. But it's important to ask for help or support if you need it. You're likely to find that many new mothers are feeling the same way.

It can be really difficult to feel able to talk openly about how you're feeling when you become a new parent. You might feel:

  • Pressure to be happy and excited
  • Like you have to be on top of everything
  • Worried you're a bad parent if you're struggling with your mental health
  • Worried that your baby will be taken away from you if you admit how you're feeling.

Around one in 10 women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth. This might be a new mental health problem or another episode of a mental health problem you've experienced before - these are known as perinatal mental health problems.

​Baby blues should not be confused with perinatal mental health problems. Baby blues are extremely common and can be normal for many mums. You might feel tearful, anxious and emotional, this usually last just a few days.

Local services


Perinatal Community Mental Health Team

The Perinatal Community Mental Health Team provides specialist input to women experiencing significant mental health difficulties during pregnancy and the first year following a child’s birth. It also works to minimise the risk of relapse in those women who are currently well but who have a history of severe mental illness.

It is an expanding and developing service that includes doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, nursery nurses, peer support workers, clinical psychologists and health care support workers as well as administrative support.

Tel: 01785 221554

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Healthy Minds

Tel: 0300 123 0907 (option 2)

9am-5pm (Monday-Friday)

Supports patients aged over 18 who are registered with a GP in Stoke-on-Trent. Patients can self-refer by calling the above number, or a health professional can refer via telephone or by faxing a hard copy referral.

Healthy Minds support patients with the following mental health problems:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • General anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Social anxiety
  • Phobias

Therapies include cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling, guided self-help and educational programmes.


North Staffordshire Wellbeing Service

Tel: 01782 711651

Fax: 01782 632030

Supports patients registered with a North Staffordshire-based GP; with centres in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Leek. Patients can self-refer or refer online for a phone call back; health professionals can refer via telephone or fax.

North Staffordshire Wellbeing Service support patients with the following mental health problems:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social phobia/specific phobias
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Health anxiety
  • Body dysmorphia

Therapies include cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling and couples therapy.


North Staffordshire Access Team

Tel: 0300 123 1535 (option 1) or 07739 775202 if main number is not available

Provided by North Staffordshire Comined Healthcare NHS Trust. The Access Team is the single point of contact and access for all Trust services; providing 24/7 cover for all mental health services across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.

The team provides the following:

  • Qualified health and social care staff who work together to provide assessment, advice and sign-posting to support recovery and promote wellbeing
  • Support for individuals and referrers to assist them to get access to the right services
  • Support for people with mental health illness who are experiencing difficulties when the stability of their mental health has been interrupted by crisis
  • The team operates an open referral system which means, if you are concerned about your mental health or that of someone you care for, you can contact the team directly.

The team also takes referrals from other professional groups, such as GPs, health visitors, A&E and police.


South Staffordshire Access Team

Tel: 0300 555 5001

Fax: 0300 124 5026

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Provided by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The team provide 24/7 advice and guidance to individuals, carers and partners, and the ability to book straight into one of our improved pathway teams to minimise duplication and ensure individuals are supported by the right person, at the right time and in the right place.


Other services providing perinatal mental health support and advice

Fathers Reaching Out

A support network for fathers who have experienced postnatal depression or been affected by their partner's postnatal depression.

Home‐Start UK

Provides support, friendship and practical help to young families experiencing difficulties, visiting them at home.

The Lullaby Trust

Provides advice on safer sleep for babies, supports bereaved families and raises awareness on sudden infant death.

National Childbirth Trust

Provides impartial information to parents to help them decide what’s best for their family; it also has a network of local parents offering practical and emotional support.


Provides online health visiting support for PND.


Provides confidential counselling on relationship problems of any kind, not only marriage.


Provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide.

Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS)​

Information and national network of support groups for bereaved parents.

Sunflower Family Support Group

Offers peer support to those affected by perinatal mental health problems in Staffordshire. It also provides activities and speakers to promote positive mental wellbeing and support the parent and baby bond.

One You

NHS servive that seeks to help you make small changes that fit your life, so you feel better and healthier, every day.

Perinatal mental health campaign