Promoting mental health, demystifying mental illness, countering stigma and discrimination

Maternal Health Services

Taranaki has recently developed a professional multi-disciplinary team specialising in Maternal Mental Health.

Pregnancy and the first year after giving birth is a vulnerable time for any woman, when many risk factors may accumulate to increase the potential for mental distress - to the detriment of mother, baby and family

In 2008, 20% of mental health referrals related to maternal mental health.

The Taranaki District Health Board Maternal Mental Health Team:

The Maternal Mental Health Team provides a specialist service to all of Taranaki working with women who develop mental health difficulties during their pregnancy and for one year after their baby is born.

The Maternal Mental Health Team aims to reduce the risks by working with other healthcare professionals to raise awareness and minimise the impact of illness.

Every client accepted into the service has an allocated key worker who provides specialist mental health assessment, monitoring and intervention, treatment planning, education, treatment options, and counselling or therapy.

The key worker also provides community support services information, liaises with other health professionals involved in the client's care and makes referrals.

12 Session Group programme:

Twice a year, two team members facilitate a 12 session group programme called Adjustment to Parenthood for people experiencing post natal distress such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

Referrals are received from GPs, midwives, Well Child providers Plunket and Piki Te Ora and Maternity Services. Clients have an initial assessment which is presented at the multi-disciplinary team where an initial treatment plan is decided.

The team consists of Maternal Mental Health Nurses Karyn Meads and Lauren Millers, Psychologist Debra Oliver, Social Worker Sally Phillips and Intake Co-ordinator Patrick Morris. Dr Tom Milam is the Maternal Mental Health Psychiatrist who has 2 half days available to see clients. Attached to the team is Dee Anna Ritai Maori maternal community mental health nurse who works from Manaaki Oranga Ltd.

Kaupapa Maori Mental Health Services:

Whanau Ora -Manaaki Oranga has provided a Maori Maternal Mental Health service for a number of years. Deeanna Ritai can be contacted at Manaaki Oranga - 06 459-7300

Community Based Post Natal Support Group:

Like Minds Taranaki facilitates a Post Natal Peer Support Group every 1st and third Monday of the month. Contact Like Minds Taranaki: 06-759-0966

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Taranaki Mental Health Sector