The Scottish Government is to invest £225,000 in 11 organisations to improve access to counselling for mums and families at risk of poor mental health during and after pregnancy.
The organisations will also be offered perinatal mental health training for staff.
Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, said: “This investment is critical. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of women and 10% of men.
“Without proper support it can lead to long lasting negative effects for parents and children.
“We are pleased to see Scottish Government invest in counselling support, to help reduce these adverse effects.
“This is a further endorsement for the profession in Scotland, following the recent announcements by Scottish Government for £80m additional counselling support across all schools, colleges and universities in Scotland.”
The Scottish Government invited applications from third sector organisations who provide perinatal and infant mental health support services to apply for funding, with the focus on sustaining their existing service.
The aim of the fund is to sustain current provision and develop a national approach to non-clinical interventions for women, partners and families to meet the needs of the 11,000 women and families who might benefit from additional support.
The third-sector organisations receiving funding are Barnardo’s, Home Start Glasgow South, Aberlour, Amma Birth Companions, Home Start Glasgow North, CrossReach, Quarriers, Midlothian Sure Start, MindMosaic Counselling and Therapy, PND The Borders, Inspiring Scotland.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “Mental illness during and after pregnancy is common, affecting one in five women. We want all mums to get the best possible support and working with third sector partners is one way we can widen access to services and advice.
“Charities provide an invaluable service by offering peer-to-peer support and counselling and helping to build confidence to help make the leap into parenthood and family life a bit easier.
“We are investing £50 million to improve perinatal and infant mental health services and it is vital that women, young children and families are able to access services in the right place at the right time.”