Families across Scotland will benefit from a £1 million investment in charities specialising in mental health and wellbeing support in pregnancy and early years.
The support, which is provided by the Scottish Government’s Perinatal and Infant Mental health fund, will go to 34 charities that help new families take their first steps in raising babies and young children.
Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart announced the extension of the existing fund for another year from April 2023 to March 2024 at the current level of funding equating to over £1 million across the 12 months.
Mr Stewart said: “We want all mothers and their families to have access to good mental health care throughout pregnancy and during the postnatal period. The third sector plays a key role in access to perinatal and mental health support, and with the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and the cost crisis, their work is more important now than ever.
“I am pleased to extend the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund. It is reassuring to see that from October 2020-March 2023 over £2.5 million has been distributed to successful charities via the Fund and over seven thousand parents, expectant parents and infants have been supported by the funded organisations.”
It has been estimated that up to 20% of mums and up to 10% of dads are affected by poor mental health in the perinatal period, with between 10 and 22% of babies and young children also experiencing mental health difficulties.
The fund enables organisations to provide the one-to-one and group support and care that parents, carers and new babies need. Over 7,000 expectant parents and infants have been supported by the funded organisations.
Speaking about the extension Celia Tennant, Chief Executive of Inspiring Scotland said: “We’re delighted the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund has been extended for another year. This will enable us to work alongside our charity partners to continue offering their essential perinatal services that support families with babies. This support is needed now more than ever, and these organisations are a lifeline to parents and families, offering empathetic support with trusted relationships right at the heart of their services.”
More information on the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund can be found at https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/what-we-do/our-funds/perinatal-and-infant-mental-health/ with the full list of funded organisations available at https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/PIMH-Report-Jan-2023-small-002.pdf