Perinatal Mental Health Community Service (PMHCS)

The Perinatal Mental Health Community Service (PMHCS) specialises in the assessment, diagnosis and short-term treatment of women 18 and above who are affected by a moderate to severe perinatal mental health illness in the preconception, antenatal and postnatal period

We are a multi-professional team consisting of consultant perinatal psychiatrists, registered mental health nurses, psychologists, therapists and assistant psychologists, nursery nurses, peer support workers, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, social workers and pharmacists.

In the first instance, before referral, advice should be sought from a midwife, health visitor or GP, as many women can be offered appropriate initial support and treatment in primary care. However, if more specialist support, advice, interventions or treatment is required, a referral to the perinatal mental health service can be made.

PMHCS can provide specialist mental health assessment and treatment for women and their families in pregnancy, and for women with babies up to 2 years of age who are experiencing moderate to severe perinatal mental health problems. The perinatal mental health difficulties may be new, or linked to previous mental ill health.

There are some known diagnoses that can increase the risk of a mum experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties. These include:

  • Bipolar affective disorder
  • Previous episodes of post-partum psychosis
  • Moderate to severe postnatal depression or anxiety
  • Previous or current mental health issues prior to or during pregnancy
  • Previous birth trauma/PTSD
  • Strong family history of mental health problems in the perinatal period

It is important to identify and support those at risk of developing mental health problems associated with pregnancy and child birth, or those who have pre-existing conditions by providing them with the specialist care that they may need as soon as possible. Pre conception advice is also provided.

Referrals, assessment and support

After a referral is received, the person will receive contact from a PMHCS clinician to arrange an assessment. They may also advise on alternative support most suitable.

We provide our specialist service within:

  • Outpatient clinics
  • Family homes
  • Accessible community venues
  • Some maternity hospitals, GP surgeries and children’s centres

Partners, next of kin, family members and friends are welcome at all our appointments.

We will tailor our support and care to meet the needs of each person, alongside other health professionals who may be involved such as a midwife, obstetrician, GP or health visitor, depending on the situation.

PMHCS is a county-wide service, covering the whole of Kent and Medway. Our service locality hubs are as follows: 

Professionals

Any health or social care professional can discuss a referral beforehand with the duty clinician. To do this please call PMHCS on 01622 722321 to request contact with the duty clinician at their earliest convenience. GPs can also directly liaise with a PMHCS consultant on prescribing issues via the duty clinician.

PMHCS accept direct referrals from any health or social care professional. Alternatively women or their families can self-refer to the PMHCS team.

If you would like to discuss the appropriateness of a potential referral please contact the PMHCS team in your area.

Please read the eligibility criteria and complete the referral form

Training

We offer perinatal mental health training to professionals.

Click here to view the types of perinatal mental health training available 

Other KMPT perinatal mental health services

Newsletters

Perinatal newsletter issue 1
Perinatal newsletter issue 2
Perinatal newsletter issue 3
Perinatal newsletter issue 4
Perinatal newsletter issue 5

PATH perinatal panel signup form

Are you thinking about starting a family? Or are you a parent of a child under two years old?

As part of the PATH project, we are actively developing an information hub, with a section dedicated to parents and families. It is important to us that we get this right, and that’s where you come in!

If you would like to register your interest in becoming a member of our Parent Panel, please complete this registration form