Perinatal Mental Health - e-Learning for Healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Institute for Health Visiting
  • Department of Health
  • Royal College of General Pracitioners

About the Perinatal Mental Health programme

The Perinatal Mental Health programme has been designed to help educate and increase awareness of issues arising from mental health.

This programme deals with two small projects, Perinatal Mental Health for Health Visitors, and Perinatal Mental Health. The latter project has recently been added as a result of the Mental Health Awareness Programme, which includes e-learning from several projects, all focused on increasing awareness of Mental Health in different disciplines.

Perinatal Mental Health for Health Visitors

In the Health Visitor Implementation Plan 2011-15 – A Call to Action, published by Ministers on 8 February 2011, the government committed to developing a larger, re-energised health visiting service.

The Health Visitor Implementation Plan contains core aims to “improve opportunities to use the full range of health visitor skills and re-emphasise health visitors as key public health professionals” and to “ensure a strong focus on responding to differential needs and improving outcomes, and that systems promote effective join-up between services in ways that best meet local needs”. Training Health Visitors to identify and treat postnatal depression, including making referrals to specialist counselling, is a key driver of these aims.

Training Health Visitors to identify and treat postnatal depression was the focus of a major announcement by the Secretary of State (May 2012), with the Department of Health press release stating “these key healthcare professionals will be able to access new evidence and training so they can identify and support women with postnatal depression”.

 

Postpartum depression is currently poorly identified and therefore often untreated, and therefore is a significant area for public health improvement. Training of Health Visitors is an effective intervention to bring about this improvement.

The 3 e-learning modules developed by the Institute of Health Visiting, funded by the Department of Health look at;

  • Module One
    Perinatal depression and other maternal mental health disorders
  • Module Two
    How to recognise perinatal anxiety and depression
  • Module Three
    Interventions for perinatal anxiety, depression and related disorders

The 3 modules include videos, case studies, links to aid learning and questions to test your knowledge of the subjects and reflect on your learning.

 

Perinatal Mental Health

The Department of Health have mandated Health Education England (HEE) to develop an e-learning resource in the field of Perinatal Mental Health. HEE has developed a set of five 20 to 30 minute e-learning sessions. The sessions assume no prior knowledge of perinatal psychiatry and are designed to be accessed by any health care professional that has contact with a mother or baby from the period prior to conception until the child is 1 year of age.

All content is referenced and the learner is signposted to additional detailed learning resources for more advanced learning. The content and structure of the sessions were formally agreed during a stakeholder consultation exercise in May 2015. This included input from several Royal medical colleges including the RCN, RCGP, RCOG and RCPsych amongst others.

The sessions commence with 2 introductory sessions, which provide a broad overview of the topic and essential learning points for all health professionals. The 3 subsequent sessions focus on different stages in a mother’s journey – the pregnancy, birth and the first year of a child’s life. The subsequent sessions contain more detailed advice, which may be of more interest to particular professional groups, for example, obstetricians may choose to complete session 4 on labour and the immediate post-partum.

Open Access Health Visitor Sessions

Please note that if you access the content below, your progress and completion of sessions will not be recorded and you will not be able to generate a record of completion.

  • Module One

    Perinatal depression and other maternal mental health disorders

  • Module Two

    How to recognise perinatal anxiety and depression

  • Module Three

    Interventions for perinatal anxiety, depression and related disorders

  • Maria's Story

    This video tells of Maria Bavetta’s experience with perinatal OCD.

Open Access Perinatal Mental Health sessions

Please note that if you access the content below, your progress and completion of sessions will not be recorded and you will not be able to generate a record of completion.

  • Introduction to Perinatal Mental Health 1

    This is the first of a series of five e-learning sessions aimed at raising awareness and understanding of mental health problems in the perinatal period. For the purpose of this series of sessions, the perinatal period refers to the period in which a woman is pregnant and the first year following the birth of that baby. It is aimed at all members of the multidisciplinary professional healthcare team who may come into contact with women during this time. It is recommended that after completing this initial session, you should complete subsequent sessions in the series to expand and consolidate your knowledge and understanding.

  • Introduction to Perinatal Mental Health 2

    This session will explain the main symptoms and assessment of significant and serious perinatal mental illness, the recommended management strategies and the use of medication and pathways of care for women with mental illness during pregnancy and the postnatal period. It will also cover the nature and significance of red flags in perinatal mental illness.

  • Antenatal Care

    This session aims to enable the development of knowledge and understanding around antenatal mental health care. It is designed to give an overview of the key aspects of antenatal care that would enable the delivery of high-quality care services to all women, but particularly those with a history of past or present mental health problems. It will outline the key aspects of assessment, management and referral of this client group, with particular emphasis on woman-centred mental health assessment and care planning.

  • Labour and Postnatal Care (until discharged from midwifery care)

    This session has been designed to highlight the management of perinatal mood disorders. It discusses mental health conditions around the time of delivery and immediate postpartum period, when the woman is still under midwifery-led care. It also outlines good supportive care in certain conditions which (if present during this time) could lead to mental illness.

  • Later Postnatal Care (first year after birth)

    The purpose of this session is to give all health professionals who come into contact with women during the period 10 to 14 days after birth to the end of the first year, information about how to identify and support women and their partners with postnatal mental health problems. This session will include reference to the need for health professionals to consider the impact of maternal mental ill-health on the mother, her baby and the relationship between them as well as the effects and consequences of various aspects of intimate partner relationships for maternal mental health. The session will describe options for assessment, treatment and support within the context of an integrated, stepped-care, family-centred model and evidence-based practice.

Project team for Perinatal Mental Health for Health Visitors

  • Pauline Watts

    Pauline Watts

    Nursing Professional Officer/Clinical Advisor Nursing, National Health Visitor Programme and Dementia, Public Health Directorate, Department of Health
  • Mark Millar

    Project Manager, e-Learning for Healthcare
  • Cheryll Adams

    Cheryll Adams

    Institute of Health Visiting

Project team for Perinatal Mental Health

  • Dr Judy Shakespear

    Dr Judy Shakespear

    Clinical Lead, Health Education England
  • Dr Nicole Eady

    Dr Nicole Eady

    Clinical Lead, Health Education England
  • Jonathan Guy

    Project Manager, e-Learning for Healthcare
  • Scott Mountifield

    Lead Instructional Designer, e-Learning for Healthcare

How to access

In order to access any e-LfH programme, you will need an e-LfH account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

If you already have an account with e-LfH, then you can enrol on to the Perinatal Mental Health programme by logging in to the e-LfH Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section.

Access for NHS healthcare staff in England

The Perinatal Mental Health programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-Learning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Further details are available here.

Available to all

The Perinatal Mental Health sessions for health visitors are available to access using the Open Access Health Visitor Sessions above.

The Perinatal Mental Health sessions for any healthcare professional, developed as part of the Mental Health Awareness Programme, are available to access using the Open Access Perinatal Mental Health sessions above.

If you access the content using these links, you will not have to log in but your activity will not be tracked and you will not be able to generate a record of completion.

e-LfH is a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies