Active Research

Barriers to Perinatal Mental Health Services for Refugees and Asylum-Seekers in Camden

University College London

In recent years, Camden has welcomed displaced individuals, resulting in a growing population of vulnerable pregnant women within this group, with potentially complex needs. Local research has indicated an estimated 1 in 5 women were affected by perinatal mental health difficulties (PNMH) in 2015. Furthermore, research suggests that refugees and asylum seekers (RAS) have higher incidences of PNMH given migration and resettlement experiences. These factors have individual and social implications with untreated PNMH being linked to poorer health/developmental outcomes for families, alongside substantial socioeconomic community costs. Although Camden addresses PNMH through integrated maternal health services, a rising number of RAS necessitates a specific understanding of this group.

This case study focuses on the existing patient pathways to understand how PNMH services and technology serve vulnerable pregnant individuals and evaluate the efficacy (through the lenses of availability, continuity, customizability) of services for RAS in Camden to identify gaps for service improvement.