Regular contact with health visitors with additional mental health training can significantly reduce depression among new mothers, according to new research form the University of Leicester. This may have important implications for health visitor training as the latest Growing up in Scotland findings show that how mothers feel matters to the development of their children. The Growing up in Scotland report found:
· children whose mothers were emotionally well had better social, behavioural and emotional development than those whose mothers had brief mental health problems.
· children whose mothers had short spells of feeling anxious or depressed had better development than those whose mothers had repeated mental health problems over some time.
· mothers who felt anxious or depressed were more likely to have relationship difficulties and poor social support from family, friends or from the local community The training covers areas such as carrying out mental health assessments and listening techniques.
Universal prevention of depression in women postnatally: cluster randomised trial evidence in primary care
Growing up in Scotland: Maternal mental health and it impact on child behaviour and development
The Growing up in Scotland project