Specialist Health Visitors for Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal Mental Health Specialist Health Visitors work alongside the Health Visiting service to promote the health and wellbeing of families with children under the age of five. Health Visitors are trained nurses with specialist training in child development and family health. They work with families to provide a range of advice and support to improve parental confidence and ensure best outcomes for children and young people.

The Specialist Health Visitors for Perinatal Mental Health work with your Health Visitor and other community practitioners to support parents with adjusting emotionally to becoming parents from the antenatal period to around one year of your baby’s life. In the Better Start wards they will offer support alongside your Health Visiting contacts.

Health Visitors are trained nurses with specialist training in child development and family health. They work with families to provide a range of advice and support to improve parental confidence and ensure best outcomes for children and young people. When your Health Visiting Team sees you, they will be enquiring and offering support about your emotional well-being.

How to access/contact the Specialist Health Visiting Service for Perinatal Mental Health

If at any time antenatally through to your baby’s first birthday, you feel low in mood, anxious or worried or have other worries about your emotional health and adjustment to parenting, you can contact the Specialist Health Visitors directly or via your named Health Visitor. You may have talked to a member of the Health Visiting team about how you feel when you have seen them at home or child health clinic and may have been offered additional support, or have been signposted to other support such as your GP, or Therapy for You. Your Health Visitor, GP or other people supporting you, such as a Family Support Worker, may contact the Specialist Health Visitors for advice and help to plan your care.

If you live in the Better Start wards of Southend (Kursaal, Victoria, Milton, Westborough, Shoeburyness and West Shoebury) you may be introduced to the Specialist Health Visitors for additional support. This support may include joint visits and work alongside your named Health Visitor, additional supportive visits, invitation to group support, and links to other suitable support networks. The Specialist Heath Visitor can also liaise with the local Perinatal Mental Health Team, who have a more specialist service for women with moderate to severe difficulties, for further support, and if necessary referral to this service. Families often receive a service from different health professionals who work for EPUT. In order to ensure that care is co-ordinated, information recorded in health records will be shared where appropriate in order to facilitate this.

Your Perinatal Health Visiting Service means that your Specialist Health Visitor will be able to support you through the antenatal period (before the baby is born) and will continue through your perinatal period (until your baby is 1 year old).

For more information or to access the service, contact Ros: 07866609752 or Hilary: 07816965420

If you are not in a Better Start Southend ward, for additional help please contact your Health Visiting Team at Southend Borough Council 01702 534911.