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Chamber and committees

Health, Social Care and Sport Committee

Perinatal Mental Health


The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee undertook a short inquiry into perinatal mental health in Scotland.

Perinatal mental health problems are mental health problems which occur during pregnancy and up to one year after a child’s birth. In most cases, mothers are the most impacted. However, these mental health problems can affect all caregivers and family members. The impact of the COVID pandemic may have increased mental health issues for all caregivers.

The aim of this inquiry was to explore the key issues facing new mothers during pregnancy and following the birth of a child that can impact mental health. It considered aspects such as new mother care, breastfeeding support and specialist training. It also considered the mental health impacts of bereavement from miscarriage and the death of an infant.

The inquiry also explored opportunities for perinatal mental health services in Scotland over the next five years and made recommendations for Scottish Government to help support new parents. 


Your views

The call for views closed on 24 November 2021.

Read the responses.


Oral evidence 

7 December 2021: The Committee took evidence from—

Selena Gleadow-Ware, Perinatal Faculty Chair, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Mary Ross Davie, Director for Professional Midwifery, Royal College of Midwives

Dr Arun Chopra, Executive Director (Medical), Mental Welfare Commission

Professor Marian Knight, Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health, MBRACE

And then from—

Cat Berry, Group Facilitator and Volunteer Coordinator, Juno Perinatal Mental Health Support

Joanne Smith, Chair, Maternal Health Scotland

Fiona Challacombe, Patron, Maternal OCD

Clea Harmer, Chief Executive, Sands.

Papers for the meeting on 7 December 2021

Minutes for the meeting on 7 December 2021

14 December 2021: The Committee took evidence from—

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Scottish Government

Maree Todd, Minister for Public Heath, Women's Health and Sport, Scottish Government

Hugh Masters, Chair of the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board, Scottish Government

Ruth Christie, Head of Children, Young People and Families Unit, Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing, Directorate for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Scottish Government

Kirstie Campbell, Head of Maternal and Infant Health, Improving Health and Wellbeing, Directorate of Children and Families, Scottish Government.

Papers for the meeting on 14 December 2021

Minute for the meeting on 14 December 2021


Informal engagement

The Committee held an informal evidence session on the 7th March 2022.


The Committee published its report on 8 February 2022.

Read the report.

The Scottish Government response to the report can be found in the Correspondence section.

The Parliament debated the report on 29 March 2022.

Read the Official Report.


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