Positive mental health and well-being during the perinatal period (from conception to 18 months after the baby is born) is of crucial importance for mothers, babies and their families. Mental ill-health at this time, when it is not recognised and supported / treated, can have long-term impacts on physical and mental health outcomes for mothers and babies and presents a major public health concern.

NHS Education for Scotland has developed a range of educational and training resources to support health and social care professionals working with women, babies and families in the perinatal period.

Perinatal mental health curricular framework

This curricular framework sets out the different levels of knowledge and skills required by members of the Scottish workforce to promote positive well-being and good mental health  in mothers, babies and their families during the perinatal period and to intervene in a timely and helpful way when mental ill-health is present.

The framework has been a collaboration with partners, stakeholders (including the Perinatal Managed Clinical Network) and those with lived experience of perinatal ill-health. We hope it will provide a route map for training providers that can make a real difference to the lives of parents and their infants and families.

Essential Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

The overall aim of this e-learning resource is to provide a highly detailed introduction to staff working at “Enhanced and Specialist levels” within the Perinatal Mental Health Curricular Framework. You may work in Mother and Baby Units, Perinatal CMHTs, Neonatal units or have specialist Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Roles.

The Perinatal period is perhaps one of the most important in parent’s lives. We have a duty to work in partnership with each woman and to respect her need for information and care which allows her to make the best decisions for herself, her pregnancy, her infant and family. We also need to know how we can use the opportunity provided bv working with families in the perinatal period to promote and support nurturing parent infant relationships.

These modules should be completed as part of induction or ongoing CPD, with guidance from a senior colleague or supervisor. There will be an opportunity to complete reflective pieces throughout the course and these should be downloaded and a copy taken to follow-on face-to-face training.

Take Care: Perinatal mental health is a subject that affects many people and healthcare and social care workers are people first. You might find content in these modules touches upon experiences that you or those close to you have had. Please look after yourself while you complete the modules. If you feel you need extra support, speak with your supervisor to work out how best to take care of your own well-being. You might also wish to speak with your GP or make use of the resources signposted.


Note: Please ensure that you are signed in to your Turas account in order to view and access the elearning modules

1. Introduction (time to complete: 45 minutes)

2. Keeping Baby in Mind (time to complete: 45 minutes)

3. Stigma (time to complete: 35 minutes)

4. Risk in the Perinatal Period (time to complete: 30 minutes)

5. Assessment (time to complete: 45 minutes)

6. Interventions (time to complete: 35 minutes)

7. Pharmacological interventions (time to complete: 30 minutes)