Vital Community Perinatal Mental Health Service Launched by the South Eastern Trust

18th May 2022
Pictured left – right: Consultant Midwife, Shona Hamilton, Assistant Director of Adult Services, Damien Brannigan, Director of Adult Services, Margaret O’Kane, Perinatal Mental Health Team Leader, Julia Sheehan, Dr Alain Gregoire, Professor Siobhan O’Neill and Consultant Psychiatrist, Carolyn O’Connor.

The South Eastern HSC Trust has launched a new mental health service aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of women, their children and their wider families. The ‘Community Perinatal Mental Health Service’ is designed to increase awareness of mental illness and offer support and interventions to women through their pregnancy and up until one year after birth.

The Perinatal service is operated by a comprehensive multidisciplinary team comprising of consultant psychiatrists, mental health nurses, a midwife, a health visitor, a social worker, an occupational therapist and clinical psychologists.  The team accepts referrals from GP’s, midwives, health visitors and mental health teams and work fluidly to care for women with a number of mental health illnesses including:

  • Serious Mental Illness
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Postpartum psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Moderate to severe antenatal depression and anxiety
  • Moderate to severe postnatal depression and anxiety
  • OCD

A celebration event was held to launch the new service and keynote speakers, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, Dr Alain Gregoire and Mental Health Champion, Professor Siobhan O’Neill addressed the importance of early detection and intervention, the impact of mental illness on women and their families and the positive results that early intervention can achieve.

Director of Adult Services, Margaret O’Kane said, “I am delighted to launch the Community Perinatal Mental Health Service in South Eastern HSC Trust. This new service will ensure all women have access to high quality specialist mental health care, close to home, when they need it, during the perinatal period.”

Consultant Psychiatrist, Carolyn O’Connor added, “We are delighted that this long awaited and much needed service is now available throughout the South Eastern Trust.

“Mums and babies are at the heart of everything we do. Our aim is to provide specialised perinatal mental health care close to home, improving outcomes for mums, babies and families.”