RCM welcomes Scottish Government’s announcement of more funding for perinatal mental health

on 03 May 2024

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) warmly welcomes the announcement by the Scottish Government that they will provide additional funding to improve perinatal mental health services in the north of Scotland.

Minister for Mental Health of Scotland, Maree Todd MSP, announced yesterday (2 May) that in the first phase, £85,000 will be allocated towards providing support for severely ill women. The announcement comes following a long-standing call by the RCM for vastly increased spending and allocation of resources to give equal priority to mental health and physical health.

Commenting on the announcement, RCM Director for Scotland Jaki Lambert said:

“Yesterday’s funding announcement by the Scottish Government is a good start towards addressing the challenges women face in accessing intensive perinatal mental healthcare. That said there is still much more to do. The money itself is not a magic wand and the Government must make sure that any improvements are not just a flash in the pan and that there is a long-term focus on improving equity of access to perinatal mental health services across Scotland once this first phase is complete.”

Prioritising perinatal mental health alongside physical health is something the RCM has been pushing hard for across the UK. Last year, the RCM launched its Roadmap for Perinatal Mental Health, which highlighted the steps policymakers and healthcare leaders need to take to ensure women receive the right care at the right time.

Jaki continued: “There is no doubt that maternity services continue to struggle to meet increasing demands. Without dedicated perinatal mental health services, midwives are often left trying to coordinate support and care that isn’t there. We need investment in specialist perinatal mental health midwives in every NHS Board in Scotland. These specialist roles literally could make the difference between life and death for some mothers.”

Recently NHS England also reaffirmed their focus on perinatal mental health, announcing how it’s increased allocation of resources has led to improvements in this vital service. Across the UK, one in five women will experience mental health issues during pregnancy and up to a year after birth, ranging from anxiety and depression to more significant illness. Furthermore, suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in new mothers up to the first year after giving birth.


  • More details on the announcement by the Scottish Government can be found here.
  • The RCM’s Perinatal mental health roadmap can be found here.
  • Our recent blog on Perinatal mental health can be found here.