Thrive - Psychological Support for Birth Trauma and Loss

If someone is experiencing mental health difficulties as a result of birth trauma and/or birth loss, but has not received any help to date, there are a wide range of services that can provide therapies, support and advice to people and their families. These include IAPT (talking therapies) services, Kent NHS Psychosexual Therapy Service and East Kent  Hospital Women’s Counselling Services. If you have already received care and treatment from the above services but you need additional treatment then a referral to the  new NHS service ‘Thrive’ may be considered.

Thrive is an inclusive, multi professional service, offering assessment and short-term interventions to those experiencing moderate/severe mental health difficulties; specifically psychological trauma, as a result of or having been triggered by the perinatal context such as birth trauma and/or birth loss.  The trauma may have occurred at any point in time and may not necessarily be recent.

Presentations may include  psychological trauma following:

  • PTSD following perinatal loss (including early miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death)
  • PTSD following birth trauma
  • Repeated unsuccessful IVF
  • Termination of pregnancy for any reason
  • Parent infant separation at birth (this could be due to a number of reasons including safeguarding concerns or the illness of the parent or baby resulting in prolonged hospitalisation and separation etc.)
  • Tokophobia (severe fear of childbirth)

What therapies are offered?

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is provided by an appropriate qualified Therapist. These are both forms of therapy that can be useful and effective for those who have experienced trauma.

Specialist Midwives within the service will provide their clinical expertise and knowledge in relation to birth loss and trauma, and support for future pregnancies.

Additionally, a person working within the service with lived experience of birth loss or birth trauma is available to make contact with each person, to offer support and advice as required. This may include supporting someone at their assessment, sharing their experience of their recovery journey, or linking in with support groups. 

Based on the need of each person; further advice, support and signposting can be offered, for example to reproductive health. Support and signposting for partners can also be offered.

Referral to Thrive

Referrals can be made by contacting the team on 01227 768928 who can provide the referral form and details for submission. At this time, self-referrals are not accepted.

Upon referral to Thrive, the Therapist and Specialist Midwives will triage all cases. Triaging will involve determining which service set out above would be most appropriate in providing care and treatment to each particular person, based on their clinical presentation. The Specialist Midwives work closely with other services within the treatment pathway to understand which would be most appropriate to provide the care needed, with regular case discussions taking place. 

Professionals

Thrive accepts direct referrals from any health care professional. Consent MUST be obtained from the service user to do this. You can discuss a referral beforehand with  a member of the Thrive team by emailing kmpt.thrivemhsupport@nhs.net

If you would like to refer someone to Thrive then please read the eligibility criteria and complete the referral form. Please note this is not a crisis/urgent or  emergency service and only operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Those referred to Thrive who present with complex mental health issues, must be in receipt of care co-ordination from secondary mental health teams (for example a Community Mental Health Team  (CMHT). It is likely that Thrive will offer specialist assessment only, and that psychological provision will be delivered by the secondary care psychological services available to them.

However, Thrive is able to offer specialist consultation to the CMHT and would welcome staff to get in touch if required.

What will happen if the referral to Thrive is accepted?

If it is determined that Thrive is the most suitable service to offer support and/or treatment to the person, a joint assessment including a risk assessment with the Therapist and Specialist Mental Health Midwife will be offered; following which a plan of care will be formulated with each person, based on their needs.

Initial assessments will take place either face to face or online as appropriate. Four community venues are available in East Kent for face to face appointments to take place.

Further information

For more information please read our Thive leaflet

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

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