Authors: Carol Bennett, VIC
Event: 2007 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Parents, infants, children, PREVENTION OF MENTAL ILLNESS, beyondblue
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Pregnancy and birth is often portrayed as an enjoyable and satisfying time for most new parents – unfortunately this is not the reality for all new mothers. In its extreme form, depression can lead to an overwhelming sense of despair and even thoughts of suicide, self harm or harm of the new baby. About 9% of expecting and 16% of new mothers experience depression. Despite the prevalence and consequences of antenatal and postnatal depression, most women commonly remain unidentified and untreated. This paper will explore results from beyondblue’s postnatal four year mental health research program. It will specifically outline the evidence for a large scale perinatal screening and assessment program in Australia based on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS); the need for training of health professionals about perinatal depression; and pathways to obtaining care for women identified as at risk, or experiencing, perinatal depression.