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Introduction to Perinatal Mental Illness, Risk, Care and Treatment


Course overview

This 20-hour course will provide an accessible introduction to various types of perinatal mental illness, and the significant effect these can have on women, their infants, partners and families. You will learn about a range of factors that can contribute to mental health problems in pregnancy and after birth, as well as the risks that can be associated with perinatal mental illness. The course also provides information about care and treatment, and the importance of professionals working in partnership.

You will be invited to reflect on your own experience of caring for women with mental health problems during pregnancy and the postnatal period, and by the end of the course you will have acquired practical knowledge and skills which can be integrated into your clinical practice – directly enhancing the care you provide.

Wondering what the course will be like? Download a summary of student & reviewer feedback (PDF).


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Course aims

This course will allow you to:

  • Appreciate the importance of understanding each woman’s individual context and history, as well as considering the perspectives of the woman, infant and partner
  • Study a range of perinatal mental disorders, including their presentation and the effect they can have on women, infants, partners and families
  • Build an awareness of risk in the perinatal period, including risk of suicide, risk of domestic abuse, and risk to the infant
  • Explore interventions available for women and families, including psychological interventions, the use of medication, and partnership-working
  • Identify the professionals and services involved in supporting women, their infants and families across the care pathway.


How will you learn?

  • Discover key concepts through interactive lecture content and videos
  • Deepen your understanding via regular opportunities for reflection
  • Share ideas, questions and experiences in discussion boards
  • Explore key ideas with a Clinician-Tutor in a live group webinar
  • Test your knowledge with a multiple-choice quiz, and unlock a certificate.

Course topics

  • Factors from a woman’s history and current context which can affect her experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting, and her risk of developing perinatal mental health problems
  • The woman’s, partner’s and infant’s experiences and perspectives during the perinatal period
  • Perinatal mental disorders including perinatal depression, perinatal OCD, postpartum psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Risks associated with perinatal mental illness, including risk of suicide, risk of domestic abuse and risk to the infant and other children
  • Care and treatment including: Screening and identifying women who have, or who are at risk of developing, perinatal mental illness; Psychological interventions for the mother and for the mother-infant relationship; An introduction to the use of medication in pregnancy and breastfeeding; and Multi-agency partnership working.

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:

    • Mental health practitioner in non-specialist services, such as Adult and CAMHS, and are keen to develop your knowledge and skills in relation to the care of women in the perinatal period.
    • 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 or Maternity Support Worker
  • Obstetrician
  • Doula
  • Health Visitor or Health Visitor Assistant
  • Social Worker or other Practitioner within Social Care
  • Children’s Centre or Early Years Practitioner
  • Nursery Nurse
  • Third Sector Volunteer or Practitioner
  • Peer Support Worker.

Know someone who’d enjoy this course? Download a course flyer (PDF) to share with friends and colleagues.


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, which upon completion will unlock a Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust CPD certificate.


Course Timings

This course runs once per month, and you can pick your preferred start date at the beginning of the registration process. You’ll have access to the course and its materials for a total of one year from the course start date, once you’ve registered and paid.

The course delivers 20 hours of learning, the majority of which you can undertake at a time and pace that suits you. In the third or fourth week of your course, you will also be invited to join a live group webinar with one of our clinical experts, conducted via Zoom.

Live webinar dates and times can be found below:

Course Start Date Live Webinar Date
1 August 2022 Thursday 22 September 2022, 4pm BST
12 September 2022 Thursday 17 November 2022, 4pm BST
10 October 2022 Thursday 17 November 2022, 4pm BST
7 November 2022 Thursday 12 January 2023, 4pm BST
22 November 2022 Thursday 12 January 2023, 4pm BST
5 December 2022 Thursday 12 January 2023, 4pm BST

Please note that seminar times are subject to change. If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to contact


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…

CPD Certified

CPD certified

This course has been independently evaluated for Continuing Professional Development purposes by The CPD Certification Service. This means that the learning activity meets global CPD standards and benchmarks, and the learning value has been scrutinised to ensure integrity and quality.


Forthcoming course dates

Our Short courses run monthly. Use our secure 'MyTAP' booking system to book a place on the next available course or reserve your place on a future course.

Next start date



Great content and very well delivered. This course provides an excellent initial introduction to a wide range of mental health difficulties women can face during the perinatal period. I particularly enjoyed the holistic approach the course takes to exploring women's mental health and how this impacts her life and those around her.
Short Course Student
This course was an excellent introduction to perinatal depression. The presentation was outstanding, the structure of the course was designed to keep the student well engaged and motivated. The interviews with the professionals involved with women's care helped clarify and deepen our understanding. I have really learnt a lot - thank you.
Short Course Student
This course enabled me to develop my understanding and interest in a highly complex area. The learning material was well presented and easy to navigate at my own speed. A really enjoyable introduction to perinatal mental health.
Short Course Student
A well-designed approach to online learning that can be fit into the busy schedule of health practitioners and researchers.
Short Course Student
The course was extremely comprehensive and was structured in a way that really allowed for reinforcement of learning through revisiting of concepts and material. The combination of different media, as in written material which was very well-referenced; videos; the containment of appearances by Lucinda Green; written discussion around questions and Live Interaction made it an all-round learning opportunity and a very nourishing experience. Thank you. It was a very valuable opportunity.
Short Course Student
Can I express my sincere gratitude for this course which I found very interesting, formative and a clear and honest insight into perinatal mental health, I found the materials, webinars and video from families and professionals beneficial for developing my professional practice.
Short Course Student
As someone with 'shop-floor' experience of this field already, I was looking for something to consolidate and officiate my knowledge. This course absolutely did that - so well written, accessible, understandable and thought provoking. Really enjoyed it and will recommend to colleagues. Many thanks
Short Course Student
I found this course well structured, interesting and informative and incorporated a range of learning tools.
Short Course Student
Very engaging and informative course that I was able to access as and when I could. Good material and presentation of information. Very thought provoking for my current role.
Short Course Student
I enjoyed the variety of learning methods in this course. The lay out of the course online was easy to use. The content of the course was interesting and I particularly enjoyed the live seminar.
Short Course Student
Fantastic course. Extremely informative and detailed with a great deal of useful content covered.
Short Course Student
There is a lot of information provided and a lot of thought has been put into this course to promote information about the perinatal period and mental health challenges. It provides a good overview of the different mental health difficulties that can present during the perinatal period.
Short Course Student
The course provided a great overview and introduction to perinatal mental health over 4 weekly modules. It covered the importance of taking a “think family” approach when working with perinatal clients, explored perinatal mental health problems and highlighted key risk considerations within care and treatment. I would highly recommend this to professionals who wish to expand their knowledge of working with perinatal women and families as it has informed my care and work with this client group greatly.
Short Course Student
This course was excellent and has certainly added to my knowledge around PMH. There are definitely things I can take away to improve my role and communication with other services to support women and families.
Short Course Student
This course has provided me with excellent skills, knowledge and resources and I now feel more confident in providing CBT for clients in the perinatal period.
Short Course Student
I would highly recommended this course for anyone who has contact with women during the peri-natal period. It has helped me to develop my own professional practice and consider more factors to improve my overall support for clients.
Short Course Student
This course is excellent for anyone working with perinatal women and their partners.

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