Charities which help pregnant women and new mothers with their mental health are to share in new funding to support their work, the Scottish Government has announced.
The Perinatal and Infant Mental Health fund will provide annual funding of up to £1 million to help third sector organisations deliver vital services.
Amma Birth Companions is one of the organisations which will receive a share of the funding.
The charity supports vulnerable women who would otherwise experience birth without a partner, including a number of women who are refugees, asylum seekers or living in poverty.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP attended a virtual meeting with Amma Birth Companions to announce the successful organisations to receive a share of the funding.
She said: “We want all mothers and their families to have access to good mental health care throughout pregnancy and during the postnatal period.
“The third sector provides an invaluable source of support and with the impacts of Covid-19, their work is more important now than ever. The fund will allow one-to-one support for organisations to help provide the care that women and their families need across Scotland.
“In our 2019-20 Programme for Government, we committed to support the third sector to deliver counselling and befriending services for women who might benefit from additional support in their community.
“Our delivery plan will help us continue to improve perinatal and infant mental health services, backed by £50 million and guided by the voices of women with lived experience.”
Sarah Zadik, manager and co-founder at Amma Birth Companions, welcomed the funding.
She said: “This funding will enable us to build on our existing work, address emerging needs, and reach even more women who would otherwise face pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood alone.
“We are delighted to receive this grant and grateful to the Scottish Government for recognising Amma’s role in providing vital support to vulnerable mothers who are at increased risk of experiencing perinatal mental health issues.”
Charities providing counselling and peer and parental support are among those sharing the funding, including Aberlour, Barnardo’s, Midlothian Sure Start, Action for Children and Maternal Mental Health Scotland.
Inspiring Scotland will be administering the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.
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