New mothers in Leicestershire who are struggling with their mental health will be able to receive vital support by simply sending a text message.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust has launched Mum’s Mind, which is a messaging service that allows pregnant women and those who have recently given birth to reach out if they are struggling.
BBC News reported that mothers can send a text message to the service if they are suffering from depression, anxiety, or panic attacks, and a trained professional will respond within 24 hours.
Donna Stafford, from the perinatal mental health team, said: “We know 20 per cent of women will experience mental health problems during the perinatal period. What we want the Mum’s Mind message to do is improve access to services. We want people to be able to speak about their mental health problems.”
The service was established following a £460,000 injection from NHS England to the trust in order for its perinatal mental health team to provide better support to new and expectant mothers.
While this service is not available in the north-west yet, those who are struggling with the changes that come with having a baby can seek help from counsellors in Manchester.
According to the NHS, postnatal depression (PND) affects more than one in ten women within a year of having a baby, as well as dads and other partners. However, as many people do not report their feelings, this figure could be significantly higher.
Signs that you might be suffering from PND include withdrawing from contact with other people; a lack of energy and enjoyment in the wider world; a persistently low mood and feeling of sadness; difficulties making decisions and concentrating; and finding it hard to bond with your baby.