Perinatal Mental Health

1h 18m
Cover image for: Perinatal Mental Health
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The Ausmed Education Learning Centre is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation

Provider Number PO342.

CPD1h 18m of CPD
First Published
Updated27 March 2024
Expires 27 March 2026
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

The perinatal period is a deeply impactful time for parents as they navigate the various stages prior to conception, during pregnancy, at birth and postpartum. This is commonly a very challenging time, but a clear understanding of the mental health impacts that this period can have on the pregnant parent, their partner and the broader family unit is unfortunately not as common.

In 2023, the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) released the latest update to the Mental Health Care in the Perinatal Period: Australian Clinical Practice Guideline. This Ausmed Course provides healthcare professionals with a detailed overview of the best-practice recommendations of the revised guideline, with the intent to help increase awareness and understanding amongst those providing frontline care.

  • Understanding the significance and scope of perinatal mental health
  • Common and severe perinatal mental health disorders
  • Screening, assessment and interventions
  • The unique challenges of the perinatal period
  • The role of the clinician in caring for patients with perinatal mental health conditions

Perinatal mental health struggles affect 1 in 5 new mothers, with 20% of that population experiencing symptoms of suicidal ideation or undertaking self-harm. 1 in 10 fathers are also affected, yet 45% are not aware of the fact that perinatal mental health struggles can apply to them in the first place. Despite the apparent prevalence of perinatal mental health concerns, obstacles to obtaining assistance, support and treatment still exist.

These alarming statistics indicate a significant lack of sufficient education and awareness for both the new parents and their healthcare providers, which can lead to further under-recognition and under-treatment of perinatal mental health disorders. A lack of treatment for individuals struggling with their mental health during the perinatal period can result in serious consequences for their safety and overall health outcomes.

Therefore, clear education and training addressing mental health concerns for patients and families in the perinatal period is imperative to empower healthcare professionals working with these groups with the necessary knowledge, confidence, training and skills to provide effective and well-tailored care and support.


The purpose of this course is to provide healthcare professionals working with mothers and families in the perinatal period with a clear understanding of perinatal mental health and empower them with appropriate strategies and resources in order to increase positive outcomes for this population group.

Learning Outcomes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the significance and impact of perinatal mental health disorders on patients and the importance of early intervention in increasing positive patient outcomes.
  • Explain the importance of taking a family-centred care approach when supporting families affected by perinatal mental health disorders.
  • Identify and differentiate between the various types of common perinatal mental health disorders, including their symptoms, prevalence and risk factors.
  • Apply best-practice screening and assessment methods to accurately identify perinatal mental health disorders and implement appropriate, well-tailored interventions accordingly.
  • Describe the unique challenges faced by individuals affected by perinatal mental health disorders and strategies for supporting them.
Target Audience

Midwives, maternal and child health nurses, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals in hospital and community healthcare settings looking to increase their understanding of recognising and caring for a person with a perinatal mental health disorder.


No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Presented by
educator profile image
Nicole Highet View profile
Dr Nicole Highet is the founder and executive director of COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence. Nicole has a background in clinical psychology, marketing, campaign development, and advocacy. Following over thirteen years at Beyondblue, Nicole founded COPE in 2013 to provide a dedicated focus on effective and sustainable approaches to best practice in perinatal mental health. COPE’s work involves maintaining national momentum, ensuring support for best practice through new National Guidelines and investment into innovative, measurable, and sustainable approaches to best practice implementation including but not limited to electronic approaches to psycho-education, e-screening platforms, online training, e-referral and e-health promotion initiatives.
CPD time1h 18m
First Published
Updated27 March 2024
27 March 2026
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia
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Women's Health
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