Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
perinatal-mental-healthcare-in-northern-ireland-challenges-and-opportunities.pdf (174.53 kB)

Perinatal mental healthcare in Northern Ireland: challenges and opportunities

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-07, 15:54 authored by David MonganDavid Mongan, J Lynch, J Anderson, L Robinson, C Mulholland

Perinatal mental health is a vital component of public mental health. The perinatal period represents the time in a woman's life when she is at the highest risk of developing new-onset psychiatric disorders or relapse of an existing mental illness. Optimisation of maternal mental health in the perinatal period is associated with both short- and long-term benefits not only for the mother, but also for her infant and family. However, perinatal mental health service provision remains variable across the world. At present in Northern Ireland, 80% of women do not have access to specialist community perinatal mental health services, and without access to a mother and baby unit, mothers who require a psychiatric admission in the postnatal period are separated from their baby. However, following successful campaigns, funding for development of specialist perinatal mental health community teams has recently been approved. In this article, we discuss the importance of perinatal mental health from a public health perspective and explore challenges and opportunities in the ongoing journey of specialist service development in Northern Ireland. 


Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) Programme which is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Health Research Board (Grant Number 203930/B/16/Z)

Health Service Executive National Doctors Training and Planning

Health and Social Care Research and Development Division, Northern Ireland



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Mongan D, Lynch J, Anderson J, Robinson L, Mulholland C. Perinatal mental healthcare in Northern Ireland: challenges and opportunities. Ir J Psychol Med. 2021:1-6.

Publication Date

29 November 2021

PubMed ID



  • Psychiatry


Cambridge University Press


  • Published Version (Version of Record)