The purpose of this paper is to present an example of effective multi‐agency working between the statutory health services and the voluntary sector in the field of perinatal mental health.
The Perinatal Support Project (PSP) is an example of an innovative voluntary sector solution to the twin problems of perinatal mental health and social exclusion. The paper explores the structure of the PSP in the context of perinatal mental health research before explaining the significance of the role of volunteer “befrienders” in alleviating maternal depression and reducing social isolation. The paper then presents data from the latest independent evaluation into the PSP before calling for more services of this nature.
The paper highlights the individual success of the PSP model in alleviating maternal depression, improving mother‐baby attachment and reducing social isolation. It attests to the benefits of effective multi‐agency partnerships more generally.
There is a scarcity of truly early interventionist services for vulnerable families. This case study serves as an independently evaluated example of good practice for community practitioners and commissioning groups.
Beynon, R. and Wafula, S. (2012), "One charity's approach to perinatal depression and social inclusion", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 206-210. https://doi.org/10.1108/20428301211281078Download as .RIS
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