In partnership with Health Education England, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists has developed a dedicated blended learning programme for occupational therapists (OT) working in perinatal mental health services and recent evaluation is showing it is helping to increasing their knowledge, skills and competence in Perinatal mental health

1 in 20 women experience mental health problems within a year of (giving) birth and this programme is the first training tool of its kind, in response to the growing role of occupational therapy in the field.

As well as existing perinatal OTs, it is also available to all OTs who may be looking to become specialists in this area.

The e-Learning element of the learning was launched in February 2020 and to date, 1,600 sessions have been completed by healthcare professionals. It is split into 6 sessions, each of which includes information, case studies and a self-assessment and is available on the e-Learning for Healthcare site.

Because it is hosted on HEE’s e-learning platform, it is readily accessible for all who work in healthcare and has also been accessed by  health visitors, trainee doctors, nursery nurses and clinical psychologists, as well as OTs, across the country. 

The most recent evaluation showed an increase around knowledge and awareness of the role of occupational therapists in perinatal mental health and participants also recognised the invaluable practical support provided by occupational therapists in support women and their families.

The e-learning has been launched alongside a dedicated clinical forum to enable occupational therapists to continue to develop skills and confidence in their practice to support women who are experiencing issues ranging from traumatic births, to post-natal depression, and post-partum psychosis.

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