Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service

This community-based service supports mothers experiencing severe mental health difficulties either now or in the past, during pregnancy or up to a year after birth. 

It is available to women and their families across East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and East Surrey.

Our team includes psychiatrists, mental health nurses, psychologists, parent-infant psychotherapists and nursery nurses. They are all highly trained and specialise in perinatal adult and infant mental health.

Mums, their babies and families are offered a safe and specialist meeting with one of our team to help them think about what they are going through and how being pregnant, or becoming a parent has affected their wellbeing and that of their partner or wider family.

How do I access the service?

Referrals to our service can be made by any health professional. This includes midwives, health visitors, GPs, hospital-based teams, children’s centre and social workers, child and adolescent mental health servies, adult mental health workers, assessment and treatment teams, crisis teams, and all primary and secondary approved mental health professionals. If you are concerned about your own mental health, or that of a friend or family member, please talk to one of these professionals about making a referral.

GPs should refer through their patient booking system as they would for any other mental health referral. An electronic form for other types of referral will be available here shortly. 

If you are looking after a women and her baby who you believe is in crisis and requires an urgent response out of hours, please call the Sussex Mental Healthline, Monday to Friday from 5pm-9am, and 24 hours at weekends and Bank Holdays on 0300 5000 101.

During 9am-5pm, if there is immediate risk to a mother or her baby, please call your GP or go to A&E.

Further information

This short film explains more about conditions such as anxiety and depression which can develop anytime from conception through the first year of a baby's life (created by NHS London Clinical Networks).