We welcome the Scottish Government’s new Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund which will support third sector organisations to deliver key services and address gaps in provision.

Annual funding of up to £1 million is being made available to support parents and families at risk of poor mental health during pregnancy and the early years, enabling them to access perinatal counselling services, enhanced peer support, and parenting support.

Inspiring Scotland will run the fund – which will open to charities from August – and will work with the Scottish Government to achieve the goals of the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board.

Critical support

Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, said: “This new fund will allow third sector organisations to continue to provide critical one-to-one support that parents and families need across Scotland.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see recognition from the Scottish Government of the important role that counsellors play in supporting the mental health of women and their families during pregnancy and early parenthood.”

Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey said: “The third sector provides an invaluable source of support for the mental health of women, babies and their families during pregnancy and early parenthood.

“Last year, the Scottish Government provided funding to support the work of third sector organisations in this area and I’m delighted we’re able to build on this with the new Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund.

“The fund will allow one-to-one support for organisations to help provide the services that women and their families need across Scotland.”

Vital period

Inspiring Scotland chief executive Celia Tennant added: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Scottish Government with this important new third sector fund for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health charities.

“We know how vital the perinatal period is for families and how crucial the early years are for infant development.

“Charities across Scotland are doing essential work, and with the uncertainty caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), their work is more important now than ever.

“We look forward to continuing our support of the third sector and their support for infants and families at this crucial stage of life.”

The application process for the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund will open on the May 5. The fund will run for three years.

Third sector organisations interested in applying to this fund are asked to register online.

To find a perinatal counsellor who is working online or offering telephone counselling visit our Therapist Directory.