This paper describes and evaluates a new community treatment service for women suffering from mental Illness during the perinatal period. Data about referrals, treatment methods and outcome were analysed for the first year of Its service.
The service was acceptable to patients and effective in improving the mental health and parenting skills of mothers but less successful in improving relationship problems.
A specialised perinatal outreach service is likely to be more acceptable to new mothers than the traditional psychiatric service and may also be able to reduce the need for hospital admission and length of admission.
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