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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Training Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Champions

Training Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Champions

Training Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Champions

As part of our national training initiative we commissioned the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) to provide Perinatal Mental Health Champions training.

The health visiting and midwifery workforce are vital in recognising and responding to the mental health needs of women, infants and their partners.  Champions will support health visitors and midwives achieve the skills and knowledge of the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Curricular Framework.

The iHV Champions programme is a “Train the Trainer” model.  It supports frontline practitioners to enhance their knowledge and skills in perinatal mental health and to take on informal Champion roles providing advocacy and leadership.

The training equips Champions with the resources and support to cascade awareness training onwards to their colleagues.

The first group of 20 health visitors and midwives completed the 2-day training in February 2021.  A follow up session was held this month to plan the roll out.

Practitioners plan to use the training to:

  • improve their own practice
  • train colleagues
  • reach out across services and pathways of care

Feedback has been incredibly positive:

“The training was excellent, and the trainers were very enthusiastic. During the training I was aware how some of these strategies would make a positive impact on families on my caseload and am keen to share with others. I will be forging better links with other professionals to look at how to do things better” 
“I will share information about the training with colleagues and encourage them to attend. I will ask mums and dads about their mental health every time I have contact with them.” 
“I would like to develop closer relationships with our midwifery team and maybe try and identify a link worker who would be keen to become a champion to enable better communication and sharing of information earlier. I will cascade the training locally.” 

A further 40 health visitors and midwives will complete the Perinatal Mental health champion training in September 2021 and February 2022.

In 2019, the Scottish Government launched a programme of work to increase the provision of perinatal mental health services to women in Scotland. To support this work NHS Education for Scotland has developed a Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Curricular Framework.

Maire Claire Shankland

Clare McGuire

Supporting workforce development resources for Scotland's Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services

April, 28 2021