Perinatal Mental Health


The Solihull Approach is an integrative theoretical model used for understanding the impact of powerful emotional experiences on adults, the baby and the relationship between the two. It supports healthy brain development in the baby by focussing on enabling the relationship to be as attuned and reciprocal as it can be.  It supports effective and consistent approaches across agencies by providing a shared framework.
The training is for 12 people at a time, and is suitable for all members of the perinatal mental health team, to help practitioners develop an understanding of key concepts that are central to thinking about relationships.
The Solihull Approach underpins and supports all models of therapy by focussing on the building blocks for healthy relationships, so that specific techniques can be more effective.
Solihull Approach training also enables other practitioners working in the perinatal period (midwives, health visitors, social workers, obstetric team, adult mental health workers) to identify issues early and refer appropriately.

Solihull Approach Training and Resources relevant to Perinatal Mental Health:


2 Day Foundation Training – introduces the Solihull Approach model to the perinatal mental health team
– 1 Day ‘Understanding Trauma’ Advanced Training (optional)

As used to learn more
  • Gippsland Mother and Baby Unit, Victoria Australia,
  • Tameside and Glossop Early Attachment Service
  • Halton Integrated Perinatal and Infant Mental Health service
  • Northumberland, Tyne and Wear  Perinatal Community Mental Health Service
  • South West Yorkshire Perinatal Mental Health Service
  • and more…
Solihull Approach antenatal resource pack: The journey to parenthood
– Solihull Advanced Trainings
  • Brain Development
  • Attachment
  • Understanding Trauma
– Online antentatal and postnatal courses

Promotes knowledge and understanding of emotional processing for both parents and babies (containment) and promotes sensitive, attuned reading of the babies own cues and language (reciprocity)

Face to face antenatal, postnatal and postnatal plus courses for parents


Research Articles specific to Perinatal Mental Health:

There is a comprehensive list of research articles about the Solihull Approach generally here.

Click here for a selection with specific relevance to Perinatal and Infant Mental Health
Lee P. and Mee C. (2015) The Tameside and Glossop Early attachment Service: Meeting the emotional needs of parents and their babies. Community Practitioner. 88 (8): 31-35
Douglas, H. (2016) The Solihull Approach Antenatal Parenting Group: Understanding pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby. International Journal of Birth and Parent Education, v4, 29-31.
Fagan, E., Land, S., Meadows, Z., Raza, M., Gavin, J. and Douglas, H. (2016) Midwives’ experience of delivering the Solihull Approach Antenatal Group. International Journal of Birth and Parent Education, v4, 31.
Douglas, H and Bateson, K. (2017) A service evaluation of the Solihull Approach Antenatal Parenting Group: integrating childbirth information with support for the fetal-parent relationship. Evidence Based Midwifery.15 (1): 15-19.
Submitted for publication – Shahid, A and Johnson, R – The first research results for ‘Understanding your Pregnancy, Labour, Birth and your Baby’ the Solihull Approach antenatal online course.

Best Practice Reports

Barlow, J. (2016) International Journal of Birth & Parent Education . AIMH UK Best Practice Guidance (BPG) No 1. Improving Relationships in the Perinatal Period: What Works? Spring (1)(SuppL) 1-8.

Perinatal Mental health related articles in which the  Solihull Approach is mentioned:

Perinatal Accreditation awarded by the Quality Network for Perinatal Mental Health Services at the Royal College of Psychiatrists – CCQI Self-Assessment Tool – gives Solihull Approach as an example  workforce training
Oxford Health NHS Trust – ‘Perinatal Mental Health The Contribution of Health Visiting’ – Solihull Approach as part of workforce development strategy (p.14)
Antentatal group mentioned as an example of good practice in Warwick Infant Mental Health pathway, (p.16)  
Warwickshire Parent-Infant Mental Health and Wellbeing workshop – Solihull Approach online courses and foundation training cited as part of preventative infant mental health workstream (p2, 5, & 6)
Northern Ireland ‘Supporting the best start in life’ Infant Mental Health Framework and Action Plan – Solihull Approach used in whole workforce development 

This Infant Mental Health Framework and Action Plan represents a commitment by the Public Health Agency, HSCB and Trusts, as well as academic, research, voluntary and community organisations across NI, to improve interventions from the ante-natal period through to children aged 3 years old.

Halton integrated perinatal and infant mental health service – Award winning service cascade Solihull Approach training to multi-agency staff 
Royal College of Psychiatry – Perinatal Mental Health Pathway: Solihull Approach given as example of targeted care
Mental Health Foundation policy report – Solihull Approach cited as example of evidence based intervention for protecting mental health in early years for families at greater risk
Royal College of Psychiatry recognises Solihull Approach as a well-evaluated training taken up by many Health Visiting services across the UK (p.57) which can contribute to parity of esteem between mental and physical health 

What do perinatal mental health teams say about Solihull Approach training?

The training was “highly relevant to our roles/team. Thank-you”
“Excellent training, a really good mix of learning and reflection. A game changer in many ways in the way to approach clinical work”
“The principles can be used in everything we do”
“How useful and helpful it is, how easy it is to use and implement in current practice. I have also used the approach in supervision and it was helpful. Very enjoyable, thank-you”
“It’s applicable to day to day working”