Professional development, raising awareness and more!

Professional development, raising awareness and more!
Issue 72                   Perinatal and Infant Mental Health
   February 2021              News and Events

Professional development, raising awareness… and
Renae Hayward, Senior Health Promotion Officer, Statewide Perinatal and Infant Mental
Health Program
It’s a pleasure to bring you the first issue of this newsletter for 2021 – a new year with a mountain
of possibilities, especially if professional development is what you’re after.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the planned 2020 symposium had to be cancelled. Fortunately,
however, our wonderful speakers have agreed to come together again in 2021, providing a full day
of enriching and thought-provoking content. Keep an eye on the SPIMHP Education and Training
webpage for details coming soon.
In addition to this, the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health West Australian Branch
(AAIMH WA) is kick-starting their seminar program for the year with a Zoom presentation by
Professor Rhonda Marriott (flyer on page 6), while Emerging Minds has released a fantastic set of
free e-learning courses and resources on infant, child and adolescent mental health (see page 9).
And as always, the Statewide Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Program (SPIMHP) is offering
training in the Uses and Misuses of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Perinatal
Anxiety Disorders, and the Antenatal Risk Questionnaire (ANRQ). The full training calendar is on
page 10 and further information available on the SPIMHP Education and Training webpage.
In other news, we have some wonderful accounts of WA’s Perinatal Anxiety and Depression
Action (PANDA) Week events expressed in both words and pictures on pages 2-5. In 2020, there
were 23 PANDA Week activities reported across the state, attracting over 800 participants – the
highest number ever recorded! Congratulations to all involved.
If you are interested in hosting an awareness raising event in 2021, join our newsletter distribution
list if you’re not already on it and keep an eye on the SPIMHP Health Promotion webpage. Key
events this year include World Maternal Mental Health Day (May), Infant Mental Health Week
(June) and PANDA Week (November). The SPIMHP team will update the health promotion page
with opportunities and resources as they become available and also communicate these through
this newsletter – so stay tuned!
Please also note some important news from Beyond
Blue on page 7 and two current opportunities to
participate in consultation processes on page 8.
Lastly, on a personal note, I wanted to wish everyone
well for the year. This will be my last newsletter for a
while as I am off on parental leave for most of 2021 as of
12 February. Until someone new starts in my position,
please feel free to send any health promotion queries
through to the SPIMHP generic email address –
Professional development, raising awareness and more!
PANDA Week… in Bridgetown
Cassandra McCredden, President, Child Health Committee (Bridgetown)
What a great turn-out this year to our PANDA Week event! The Bridgetown Child Health
Committee has been holding a PANDA Week Pram Walk for a number of years now but the
support from local mums this year was great. Lots of new faces and little bubbas in prams joined
our event.
Due to the wonderful funding that was received from the North Metropolitan Health Service we
were able to offer a catered morning tea with healthy raw treats and relaxing massages, both
offered by local Bridgetown businesses.
The Pram Walk commenced at the Bridgetown library, taking in a local nature walk and finishing at
the Bridgetown Family and Community Centre (BFCC). Our resident Child Health Nurse shared
information on perinatal depression before a short photoshoot and interview with the local paper.
Whilst enjoying morning tea, guests heard from local Accordwest representative Michelle Stayt,
who had also invited a staff member of the Department of Health's Mental Health Team to share.
A local midwife also shared information on the Midwifery Group Practice and the options for self-
The most rewarding part of the morning was being able to share my own story of postnatal
depression, which allowed me to link up with another local mum suffering in silence. My hope is
that as women share their stories of struggle and resilience, they can inform and inspire others on
their own mothering journey.

Professional development, raising awareness and more!
PANDA Week… in Kojonup
Elaine Venn, Community Development Officer, Shire of Kojonup
On Wednesday 11 November 2020, families from Kojonup attended a high tea in light of PANDA
week with funding from North Metropolitan Health Service. Mums (and 1 Dad) were treated to
delicious sweet and savoury dishes including scones with jam and cream and chicken and
pistachio sandwiches.
The morning started off with a group introduction. Our fabulous professional guest speaker,
Marcelle Canon came up from Albany to share some strategies and self-awareness tools to help
when feeling down or overwhelmed. It was an interactive informal discussion where everyone felt
comfortable talking about their experiences. Marcelle also gave coping strategies and signs to look
for when feeling down.
We then had two local women sharing their own personal stories which brought a tear to an eye or
two (not just mine). The first speaker was brutally honest about how hard her journey was as a
new mum in a new town while battling depression. Her depression was so bad she had to be
admitted to a facility in Perth for the wellbeing of herself and her child (mum and now two children
doing great).
The second speaker spoke of her addiction to alcohol to help cope with postnatal depression and
all she had gone through and the help she received.
These two local ladies were so brave and honest; it was such a privilege to hear their stories and
I’m sure it made the mums sitting there feel better knowing they are not alone.
At the conclusion of the event, all participants took home a goody bag containing a little book full
of resources and then some personal little treats including soap, candles and a nail file.
A great morning was had by all and also after chatting at the end, the mums decided they would
not like to wait for another year for such an event but would like to start meeting on a regular

Professional development, raising awareness and more!
PANDA Week… with Mother-Baby Nurture
Sharon Cooke, Coordinator, Mother-Baby Nurture Playgroup WA
PANDA Week 2020 was an opportunity to host a reunion
picnic to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Mother-Baby
Nurture, a community-based perinatal and infant mental
health service that, over the past decade, has supported
more than 1000 Western Australian families.
The theme for PANDA Week 2020, “Tell Someone Who
Cares”, struck a chord as we believe that it’s in the listening
that difficult relationships - past and present - can be
emotionally contained, safely thought about and begin to be
The first six-months is a particularly vulnerable time for both infant and parent; “why didn’t anyone
tell me it was going to be like this” is a common cry we hear. The PANDA grant enabled us to
recruit a videographer to capture some of the stories of past participants from Mother-Baby
Nurture. Their stories of perinatal crisis and recovery will be woven together into a short film to be
released later this year as part of the 1000 Bright Futures Project: celebrating 10-years of Mother-
Baby Nurture. You can view the trailer here:
We look forward to inviting you to the opening night soon!

Professional development, raising awareness and more!
Radiance Big Pram Walk for PANDA Week (Bunbury)

Professional development, raising awareness and more!
Professional development, raising awareness and more!
News from Beyond Blue regarding printed resources
For many years, Beyond Blue have provided a suite of mental health resources for the Australian
community, including a number of printed materials for the women and families during the
perinatal period.
If you have previously ordered any of these resources, you may have recently received an email
from Beyond Blue regarding changes to their resources. If not, please take note of the information

      As part of our ongoing digital transformation, our need to prioritise funding for the Beyond
      Blue Support Service, and a responsibility to minimise our carbon footprint, we have made
      the decision to phase out our offering of printed resources. In the last 12 months we have
      seen a significant increase in people calling our service and we need to make sure that
      every call will be answered.
      Beyond Blue is always looking for the most efficient ways to give everyone in Australia the
      chance to achieve their best possible mental health, and this digital first approach will help
      ensure our information is as accurate and up to date as possible. We understand that not
      everyone has the digital technology or capability to download all our resources, so we will
      ensure any requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
      Limited print stock for some items may still be available, but we expect these to be
      exhausted soon. From that point selected resources will be available for download from the
      Beyond Blue and Heads Up websites but you will no longer have the option to order a
      printed copy.
      If you would like to professionally print any of our resources yourself, we are happy to
      provide you with the print-ready file. Please email with your

Other resources available
From Statewide Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Program:
      ‘Finding help before and after baby arrives’ (WA-specific resource).
      To order hard copies, please email .
      PANDA have some fabulous resources available on their website, some of which can be
      ordered in hard copy. Many of their resources are less than four (4) A4 pages too, so easily
From COPE:
      A range of easily printable antenatal and postnatal fact sheets are also available from
      COPE, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder during
      the perinatal period.

Professional development, raising awareness and more!
Consultations open
National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Public consultation for the draft National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy has now
commenced. The Strategy covers the age group 0-12 and contains a range of recommendations
and actions for all those who engage with this age group.

In August 2019, Minister for Health, Greg Hunt announced the development of the Strategy as part
of the Government’s Long-Term National Health Plan. The National Mental Health Commission
has led the development of the Strategy in partnership with an expert advisory group, steering
committee and two working groups drawn from a wide range of professional organisations and
individuals from across disciplines including education, health and social services.

The Strategy outlines the requirements for an effective system of care for children, seeking to
create a new, shared understanding of the roles of families, communities, services, and educators
in promoting and supporting child mental health and wellbeing. It also provides a framework to
guide the most critical investments in our children and families.

You are invited to provide your views on the Strategy and to
share the consultation link with your networks. Consultation
will close on 15 February 2021.

Productivity Commission Report on Mental Health

The Australian Government welcomes the Productivity Commission (PC) Inquiry Report on Mental
Health. It provides 21 recommendations with 103 associated actions spanning five key themes:

      prevention and early help for people;
      improve people’s experiences with mental healthcare;
      improve people’s experiences with services beyond the health system;
      equip workplaces to be mentally healthy; and
      instil incentives and accountability for improved outcomes.

The Inquiry represents one of the most comprehensive and significant reviews of the mental
health system based on extensive consultation with the public and key stakeholders. The actions
recommended by the PC span a range of policy areas including health, education, employment,
social services, justice, work health and safety, and Indigenous Australians.

The Government is carefully considering the PC's recommendations and is
seeking your views on the final recommendations in the PC Report,
particularly with respect to priorities and implementation issues.

Note: The full report is in excess of 1,000 pages. For information specific to
perinatal mental health, see Volume 2, Part II – Prevention and Early
Intervention, 5.1 Mental health and wellbeing in the first three years of life,
pages 197 - 202.

Professional development, raising awareness and more!
Professional development, raising awareness and more!
Statewide Perinatal and Infant Mental Health
 Program (SPIMHP) Training Calendar 2021
 SPIMHP provides training to improve the health and wellbeing of families in WA

The Uses and Misuses of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
This training is designed to assist health          Dates          Wednesday 27 January,
professionals and others in using the                              Thursday 10 June, Thursday 5
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale                               August, Friday 22 October
(EPDS).                                             Location       KEMH, Subiaco, WA,
Recommended for health professionals                               TBC by email
working with families during the antenatal and
postnatal period.                                   Time           9.00am – 1:30pm
Duration 4 hours

Perinatal Anxiety Disorders
This module provides participants with an               Dates      Thursday 11 March,
introduction to anxiety in the perinatal period.                   Wednesday 12 May,
Prevalence and types of anxiety disorders will                     Wednesday 15 September
be explored, along with engagement, screening           Location   KEMH, Subiaco, WA,
and treatment options.
                                                                   TBC by email
Recommended for health professionals
working with families in the perinatal period           Time       9.00am – 4:00pm
including general practitioners, child health
nurses and midwives.
Duration Full day

The Antenatal Risk Questionnaire
This new training module is designed to                 Dates      Friday 12 February, Wednesday
introduce the Antenatal Risk Questionnaire                         28 April, Tuesday 20 July,
(ANRQ) – a validated screening tool. The                           Monday 1 November
ANRQ is the recommended screening tool for              Location   KEMH, Subiaco, WA,
psychosocial risk factors.
                                                                   TBC by email
Duration 4 hours
                                                        Time       9.00am – 1:30pm

Presenters can also provide training on a range of perinatal mental health disorders on request.
Talks can be tailored to meet the needs of your organisation or group and can be delivered in the
workplace. Training using video conferencing is available for rural and remote regions, depending
on the venue.
Please complete the registration form and send to
Alternatively, visit our website Participants will receive a
confirmation email once their form has been submitted. Training modules are available to both
government and non-government health staff.

About this newsletter
Who can contribute?
This newsletter was created to celebrate successes and share information among professionals
working in the fields of perinatal and infant mental health in Western Australia. In the interests of
information-sharing, submission of articles and other relevant content are invited from external
agencies, including those from the non-government sector and other Australian states. Please
note, however, that the Statewide Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Program (SPIMHP) reserves
the right to maintain editorial control, including the ability to decide the final content to be published
and/or making editorial changes to content submitted.
If you would like more information about the submission process, please contact SPIMHP.

Contact information
This newsletter was produced by the SPIMHP, Women and Newborn Health Service, Department
of Health WA.
Please direct any queries via the following:
       Phone:        (08) 6458 1795

This newsletter has been designed in a printable format and is circulated to a distribution list via
email. Following distribution, it is made available at Upon
request, the newsletter can be made available in alternative formats for a person with a disability.

Copyright to this material is vested in the State of Western Australia unless otherwise indicated.
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as
permitted under the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced or re-used
for any purposes whatsoever without written permission of the State of Western Australia.
© Department of Health 2021

The information presented in this newsletter is provided in good faith as a public service. The
accuracy of any statements made is not guaranteed and it is the responsibility of readers to make
their own enquiries as to the accuracy, currency or appropriateness of any information or advice
provided. Liability for any act or omission occurring in reliance on this document or for any loss,
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