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A Brief Introduction to Perinatal Mental Health


Course overview

Introduction to Perinatal Mental Health Course

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 women’s perspectives 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 facilitators

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…

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