Key messages

  • Some women who experience mental illness in the antenatal or postnatal period can benefit from specialist mental health services.
  • Some mental health services have Perinatal Emotional Health Programs.
  • Specialist mother and baby units at four hospitals provide services in the postnatal period.

Most women who experience mental health issues in the antenatal and postnatal period, sometimes referred to as the perinatal period, are managed by a general practitioner. 

Specialist clinical mental health services may have a role when women are seriously affected by mental illness. Some specialist clinical mental health services may have additional targeted perinatal mental health services, generally known as perinatal emotional health programs (PEHPs). These targeted programs are provided by:

  • Barwon Health Mental Health Services
  • Latrobe Regional Hospital
  • Bendigo Health
  • South West Healthcare
  • Goulburn Valley Area Mental Health Service
  • Mildura Base Hospital Mental Health Services
  • Albury Wodonga Health
    .

Specialist mother and baby units can also provide a residential environment for assessment and support for mental health issues in the postnatal period. Mother and baby units are located at:

  • Austin Health – Austin Hospital
  • Monash Medical Centre
  • Werribee Mercy Hospital
  • Latrobe Regional Hospital 
  • Ballarat Health Service (from late 2015)

 All specialist mental health perinatal services can be accessed via their centralised access triage number.