A national approach to perinatal mental health in Australia: exercising caution in the roll‐out of a public health initiative Academic Article uri icon


  • Perinatal depression is an important public health issue, with major consequences for the mother, child and family. Perinatal depression is often associated with anxiety and other mental health and psychosocial issues. The National Perinatal Depression Plan (NPDP) proposes routine screening during pregnancy and after birth, follow-up support for women assessed to be at risk of or experiencing depression, and training for health professionals. Identifying women at risk of or experiencing perinatal depression is difficult, and there is no standard tool used by all hospitals to assess women's emotional health and psychosocial comorbidities. The NPDP provides an opportunity to develop and evaluate new approaches to assessing perinatal depression and a range of psychosocial issues, and to test strategies for supporting women and their families before and after birth.

publication date

  • September 2009