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DUP South Antrim MLA and Vice-Chair of the Health Committee Pam Cameron has welcomed the announcement that funding will be made available to Health and Social Care Trusts to develop a new specialist perinatal mental health teams across Northern Ireland.

Responding to the news, Mrs Cameron said:

‘‘I am delighted that this funding has been approved and the important work of scaling-up services can begin.

Perinatal mental health services provide transformative care to women affected by mental illness both during pregnancy and in the year after giving birth. However, to date only Belfast Trust deliver specialist services of this kind in Northern Ireland.

This £4.7m investment per year will therefore enable the creation of dedicated community mental health teams for new or expectant mothers in each Trust. Crucially it will allow specially trained staff from different disciplines to work alongside each other to deliver specialist care in the community including at home. This will ensure more women can receive earlier, better and tailored care.

I want to pay special tribute to the advocates of maternal mental health, including my friend Lindsay Robinson, who have campaigned tirelessly for this new specialist community service. Without their vision, courage and determination today’s announcement would not have been possible.’’