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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Essential Perinatal and Infant Mental Health – E-Learning Modules

Essential Perinatal and Infant Mental Health – E-Learning Modules

Essential Perinatal and Infant Mental Health – E-Learning Modules

It is important that staff working with women during pregnancy and the postnatal period have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to ensure they deliver appropriate care.

Recommendations from the ‘Delivering Effective Services: Needs Assessment and Service Recommendations for Specialist and Universal Perinatal Mental Health Services’ (2019) included the need to develop a suite of educational tools matched to the Curricular Framework competencies, and an induction programme for all staff new to specialist services.

In response to the report the Scottish Government’s Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Programme Board launched a service delivery plan to increase provision of perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) services in line with the Delivering Effective Services report’s recommendations.

As part of this work our Psychology Directorate developed a PIMH curricular framework, working with higher education institutions (HEI) to increase training places for psychological therapists and to create multi-disciplinary PIMH training.

As a first step, we collaborated with PIMH colleagues on a suite of seven e-learning modules.

Each module takes between 30 and 45 minutes and supports staff induction and CPD at enhanced and specialist levels as outlined in the curricular framework. Staff groups would include all mental health staff, including adult, CAMHS, addictions etc. as well as maternity, primary care, health visiting and third sector staff who work in an enhanced role and staff working within specialist PIMH services.

Overview of the modules

  • “Introduction to perinatal mental health” and “Keeping baby in mind” modules provide an overview of PIMH as well as the pathways that have been developed for PIMH services.
  • “Stigma” module supports workers to address stigma and discrimination. Recent Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries (MBRRACE) reports highlighted the inequality of health outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic expectant women and families. Social and personal ideas of parenthood can prevent parents from seeking help.
  • Our 30 minute “Risk” module recognises that all health and social care staff will encounter women and families in the perinatal period and require to know the “red flags” and “amber flags” that signal preventative or immediate action must be taken.
  • Mental health assessment in the perinatal period requires good liaison between services and inclusion of perinatal-specific information, such as obstetric history. Our “Assessment” module is comprehensive and includes lots of helpful resources.
  • The perinatal period presents women with lots of difficult and confusing decisions with regard their mental health and options for intervention. We hope our two intervention modules “Interventions” and “Pharmacological Interventions” help staff to confidently support women and families to choose a pathway to recovery.

For more information please email and

October, 22 2020