An intro to Perinatal Mental Health & their services.
What is, and what to expect from the Perinatal Mental Health Clinic in Malta?
The Perinatal Mental Health Clinic, which is based at Mater Dei Hospital, provides specialised care for women who are experiencing a range of mental health problems during pregnancy and the first year postpartum.
The team is multidisciplinary and cares for women with a range of common perinatal mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and also other more severe mental health conditions such as bipolar affective disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia. It also offers pre-conception counselling for women with severe or complex mental illness who are planning a pregnancy.
Generally, mothers are referred to the clinic by their midwife, GP or Obstetrician however the mother can also self-refer.
If you are pregnant or within the first year postpartum, you can call the Perinatal Mental Health Clinic at Mater Dei Hospital on 2545 7410.
Who are the Parent-Infant Mental Health Alliance?
The Parent-Infant Mental Health Alliance (PIMHA) is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit, voluntary organisation dedicated to women and families affected by perinatal mental health problems in Malta to ensure they have access to high quality, evidence-based and comprehensive care during the perinatal period.
The main aims of the Alliance include being an advocate for service-users at the local Perinatal Mental Health Clinic, raising public and political awareness on perinatal and infant mental health with the aim of influencing policy, and educating healthcare professionals and the general public on issues related to perinatal and infant mental health.
We’re here when you need us - you can call our helpline number at 7970 1767 between 8am and 4 pm Monday – Friday, to speak with a trained and caring professional. We will listen, answer questions, offer encouragement and connect you with local resources as needed.
PIMHA is also offering an online peer support group for new and expecting parents. The peer support group is a meeting where pregnant women and mothers with young children, as well as fathers, come together in a safe place to exchange ideas, share experiences, give and receive information and at the same time, offer and receive support in breastfeeding, child rearing and women’s health.
The sessions are conducted online once a month and are provided for free for our members. PIMHA is also sponsoring free baby massage sessions to our members to promote parent-infant attachment and ensure early healthy relationships. Sessions are conducted at the Malta Midwives Association by Ms Denise Holmes, a qualified Infant Massage Instructor and Midwife.
PIMHA will be holding its annual conference titled “Understanding the Complexities of Perinatal and Infant Mental Health” on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November 2022 at the University Campus in Valletta.
The focus will be on assessment and management of complex perinatal mental illnesses to encompass the mother, father and also the baby. Particular attention will be given on the first few years of a baby’s life and the most important early parent-child relationship and how long-term negative effects for the developing child can be reduced.
In addition to local speakers, we will be having two international experts in this field, Dr Rina Gupta, a Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, and Dr Ellen Auty, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, both working within specialised perinatal and parent-child services in the UK.
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Dr Edith Agius
Dr Edith Agius is a General Adult and Perinatal Psychiatrist who has completed a Masters degree with Sheffield Hallam University in Perinatal Mental Health.
Dr. Agius is a committee member and serves the PRO role in the Parent-Infant Mental Health Alliance (NGO) and founder of the Instagram page ‘Reproductive Psychiatry’. Dr. Agius has trained in VIG with the Association of Video Interactive Guidance UK and is now a VIG Accredited Practitioner.