INDIVIDUAL
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Beliefs About Health Professionals

​Certain beliefs or understandings about health professionals can impact whether services are implemented and delivered successfully and whether women seek help and access services.

  • Not Understanding Roles

  • Believing health professionals won’t be interested

Not Understanding Roles

Not understanding the roles of health professionals and how they relate to perinatal mental health care can act as a barrier to care​.

"I never thought I had a right to talk about emotional problems as I was never told what the role of the nurse covers​".

Evidence level: Moderate confidence​​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Deciding to consult, Deciding to disclose, Access to treatment​

Key literature: ​

Morrell J, et al. 2016

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Believing health professionals won’t be interested

Believing health professionals won’t be interested in perinatal mental health may act as a barrier to perinatal mental health care​.

"Many women believed they would not be taken seriously when discussing their PPD [postpartum depression] with professionals and reported they had experienced this in previous health encounters​".​

​Evidence level: Low​

​Parts of the care pathway affected: Deciding to consult, Deciding to disclose​.

​Key literature: ​

Hadfield H, et al. 2017

Recommendations

We recommend the development of information aimed at increasing awareness of perinatal mental health services. This should include information about:​

  • Services available​.

  • How to access support​.

  • Maternity professionals and their roles in perinatal mental health care​.

We recommend this information is developed by individual trusts, or third-party organisations (e.g., the NCT) in collaboration with the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Perinatal Mental Health Themes, The Perinatal Mental Health Network Scotland, the National Managed Clinical Network, and the Royal Colleges.

We have provided some guidance for women navigating an imperfect system here.