Perinatal mental health training

In response to the recognised need for free, accessible training for all primary/maternity health care professionals, beyondblue offers the following free training resources and programs. These resources and programs were developed under the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI) and are informed by the Perinatal Clinical Practice Guidelines.

The available resources and programs include:

  • Perinatal training matrix– outlines the knowledge and skills required to undertake screening and management of perinatal mental health conditions at a basic, intermediate and advanced level.
  • Beyond babyblues free online training program - a fully accredited experiential learning program delivered in six one-hour modules. The training incorporates case studies and clinical advice from leading perinatal mental health experts.
  • Expert instructional videos on managing the perinatal mental health of fathers and partners and women from culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
  • Directory of perinatal mental health training programs available across Australia.

Perinatal training matrix

The Perinatal Training Matrix assists health care professionals to identify their training needs. The matrix was developed by beyondblue in conjunction with the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI) Workforce Training and Development Committee and is informed by the Perinatal Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Experts from a range of disciplines in perinatal mental health and training/education were represented on the NPDI Workforce Training and Development Committee, including representatives from: Australian General Practice Network, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Australian Psychological Society, Australian College of Midwives, Australian Association of Maternal and Child Family Health Nurses, perinatal psychiatrists, obstetricians, rural/remote practitioners and consumer and carer representatives. In addition there was representation from the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.

beyondblue's free online training

Beyond babyblues: Detecting and managing perinatal mental health disorders in primary care is a free perinatal mental health online training program for health professionals. The program, developed by beyondblue, has been tailored to the basic skills section of the training matrix for perinatal mental health skills and knowledge.

Modules

The program consists of six learning modules, which can be completed as one Active Learning Module (ALM) or as six separate educational activities. This online training program was developed with the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI), in consultation with the beyondblue National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI) Workforce Training and Development Committee, as well as consumer and carer representatives, and other health professional experts. All materials were produced by GenesisEd, an accredited provider with the RACGP and RCNA and leaders in online education for health professionals.

The modules are:

  1. Overview of perinatal mental health and the need to screen
  2. Depression screening using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)
  3. Postnatal depression: Further assessment and management
  4. Postnatal depression: Pathways to care: Collaborative practice
  5. Postnatal depression: GP mental health treatment plans
  6. Management of perinatal depression

Note: Modules 5 and 6 are aimed specifically at GPs; however we do encourage all primary health professionals to complete these modules too.

Active Learning Module (ALM) program objectives

Completion of the ALM will provide participants with the knowledge and skills to:

  • differentiate between, and understand, the range of perinatal mental health conditions
  • understand the background, purpose and importance of screening, its application and limitations, and how to implement screening using the EPDS
  • understand the importance of conducting a broader psychosocial assessment, including risk assessment, for comprehensive clinical care
  • interpret and integrate the EPDS scores and other assessment material, and communicate these results to women using basic counselling skills and client-centred communication
  • be aware of evidence-based interventions for anxiety, depression and related disorders in the perinatal period
  • understand the importance of knowing where and how to refer to relevant pathways and existing treatments, interventions and support.

Accreditation

The ALM has been successfully accredited for RACGP (40 pt), ACRRM (6 pt) and RCNA (6 pt) points and all six educational activities have been fully accredited for RACGP (2 pt), ACRRM (2 pt) and RCNA (1 pt).

This program has also been accredited by the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) as a Mental Health Skills Training (MHST) activity. To gain professional development points for this activity, all health professionals should first ensure that they check the requirements of their standards body.

These modules are endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives for MidPlus points equivalent to the number of activity hours. Other health professionals can complete these modules and receive certificates.

Expert Instructional Videos

The following two expert videos and short educational activities build on the learning achieved in the Beyond babyblues online training program. These expert videos aim to provide additional guidance to primary/maternity health care professionals to support the perinatal mental health needs of fathers and partners and women from culturally and linguistically diverse and Indigenous backgrounds.  

The expert videos were developed by beyondblue under the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI), and in collaboration with training provider Genesis Ed. Participants that complete these short educational activities are eligible for professional development points from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Directory of perinatal mental health training programs across Australia

This directory provides a list of perinatal mental health training programs for health professionals that are available across Australia.

The directory is regularly updated. If your organisation would like to include details of a training program not identified in the directory, or make any changes to an existing listing, please:

Alternatively, you can phone (03) 9810 6100 and ask to speak to a member of the perinatal team.

The directory was developed by beyondblue in collaboration with expert representatives from the Expert Working Group, State and Territory Reference Group, and NPDI Workforce Training and Development Committee.

Disclaimer

The information contained in the perinatal mental health training programs for health professionals document has been compiled by Beyond Blue Limited (beyondblue) for your convenience only and beyondblue makes no warranties about its accuracy or completeness. The training packages listed are not in any way recommended, endorsed or approved by beyondblue and beyondblue takes no responsibility for any decision you make to undertake one or more of the training packages. You must decide (and, if necessary, obtain further advice about) whether the content and delivery method of your chosen training package is appropriate for your circumstances. beyondblue does not, to the extent permitted by law, accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage suffered by any person arising from the use of, or reliance upon, the information contained in this document or your attendance at any of the listed training packages.