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A Brief Introduction to Perinatal Mental Health


Course overview

This course provides a brief introduction to perinatal mental health with a focus on some specific perinatal mental disorders, and an overview of the potential risks associated with perinatal mental illness.


Course aims

This course will introduce you to key aspects of perinatal mental health including:

  • The various factors that can affect a woman’s mental health in the perinatal period
  • Recognising the importance of considering the infant’s perspective and the effect of maternal mental illness on the infant
  • The prevalence and symptoms of postnatal depression, postpartum psychosis and perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and those at high risk of severe perinatal mental illness, particularly postpartum psychosis
  • Considering the woman’s perspective and experience of perinatal mental illness
  • Describing the risks that can be associated with perinatal mental illness.

Course topics

  • Experience and perspectives of the woman, partner and infant
  • Factors from the woman’s history and current context which affect her experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting and her risk of perinatal mental illness
  • Perinatal depression
  • Postpartum psychosis
  • Perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Overview of risk including risk of suicide and risk to the infant
  • Overview of professionals and service involved in women’s care during the perinatal period.



Who is this course for?

We welcome anyone to this course who has a keen interest in the subject area.

In particular, the course is for you if you are a:

  1. Mental health practitioner in non-specialist services (Adult and CAMHS) and are keen to develop your knowledge and skills in relation to the care of women in the perinatal period.
  2. Non-mental health professional who cares for women during the pregnancy and the postnatal period and you are keen to develop your knowledge and skills in perinatal mental health in order to improve the care you provide. You may be working as a:
      • Midwife
      • Obstetrician
      • Health Visitor or Health Visitor Assistant
      • Social carer or Social worker
      • Children’s centre and Early Years Practitioner
      • Doula
      • Maternity support worker.



Course requirements/assessment

There are no specific requirements for the course, and there’s no assumption you’ll have prior knowledge in mental health.

There’s a multiple choice question assessment at the end of the course.


Course Timings

This course runs continuously, so you can sign up at any time. It offers five hours of learning which you can undertake at a time and pace that suits you.

You will have access to the course and its materials for a total of four weeks. Access begins the day after you’ve registered and paid, when you will receive login details by email.


Course facilitators

Dr Lucinda Green

Dr Lucinda Green

Dr Lucinda Green is a visiting lecturer and member of the perinatal faculty at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She has been a Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist since 2002 and she has a passionate commitment to ensuring that women have high quality mental health care before, during and after pregnancy. She developed and led…



5hrs that will enrich and strengthen your clinical skills to be more effective, knowledgeable and compassionate whatever your professional role. It is welcoming, well designed, with women’s experiences of becoming ill, of using services, of recovery, and their insights for improvements integral throughout. Frequent reflective sections stimulate the learner to consider application to their own clinical practice. You are signposted to excellent links and resources for further use. I really recommend this for any professional working with women and their families in the perinatal period.
Jill Demilew
Retired Consultant Midwife
Excellent content and even more engaging than I had hoped for.
Mini Course Student
It seems easy to navigate. The mixture of reading, pictures and videos is good. The key concepts section is broken down into good bite sized chunks and easy to work through. The videos from different women are powerful. I think this will be very useful for obstetricians at all stages of their career.
Miss Louise M Page
Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
The course was well structured and easy to navigate, with clear progression markers and instructions for which resources to access next.
Mini Course Student
I really enjoyed this course it refreshed my knowledge, motivated me to learn more and gave me more confidence when working with perinatal mental illness. I particularly liked the balance of information given and then hearing women's experiences and discussion about perinatal mental illness with specialists.
Mini Course Student
I found this a clear and interesting introduction to perinatal mental health.
Mini Course Student
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