Mum’s Mind, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s groundbreaking text message mental health support service for new and expectant mums, has seen demand rise by around 60% over the last month.
The confidential service offers expert advice and information to support mothers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who struggle with mental health issues during pregnancy and baby’s first year.
Support is provided via a dedicated text line – 07507 330 026 open between 9am and 4pm on weekdays for mums and their families.
InApril the service saw text requests rise from an average of around 50 a month to 84.
The team providing the service – LPT’s specialist perinatal mental health team – say that a significant number of texts relate to expectant and new mums experiencing anxiety in the weeks after lockdown was implemented.
In Maternal Health Awareness Week, perinatal mental health team leader, Donna Stafford, pictured, is reassuring families that support is available.
She said: “Mums Mind continues to provide essential support for women across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We have seen an increased demand for the service since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place and we have been able to provide mental health support and advice to women and their families.
“As we would expect, there has been an increase in reported anxiety symptoms and emotional distress in response to the impact of COVID-19.We will continue to ensure that this text messaging service remains available.”
Developed with service users and launched in June 2019, the confidential NHS support line was thought to be the first dedicated NHSperinatal mental health text messaging support service.
Mum’s Mind can provide advice on a range of issues ranging from sleep problems, anxiety management and panic attacks to depression, psychosis, OCD and medication concerns. The service can signpost service users to other support from GPs, midwives and health visitors, psychological therapies, benefits advisers, social care providers and birth reflections.
And it can also help with practical advice on issues such as mums who might be experiencing bonding and attachment issues in pregnancy and after the birth of their baby.
The Mum’s Mind service is not a crisis service and does not provide general advice on baby care – this is available through LPT’s original ChatHealth service on 07520 615381 (Leicester City) or 07520 615382 (Leicestershire and Rutland)
- The perinatal service offers specialist mental health care close to home for mothers referred to them with moderate to severe mental illness, and support and advice for their families. The team also provides training for midwives and health visitors to help them identify women who need mental health care.