National Perinatal Depression Initiative

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About Perinatal Depression

The perinatal period is the time during a woman’s pregnancy and the following year.

While depression and anxiety can happen at any time, we know that women are more likely to experience these conditions during the perinatal period. Depression occurs in around nine per cent of pregnant women and up to 16 per cent of mothers in the first year after their child is born. Even more women experience anxiety.

Mental health problems can happen to anyone. It is important to know how to recognise the signs and to seek help early.

What is the National Perinatal Depression Initiative?

The National Perinatal Depression Initiative is represents a national approach to promotion, prevention , early intervention and treatment for women at risk of, or experiencing perinatal mental health disorder, through the implementation of routine screening and services. It is a joint Commonwealth, State and Territories funded initiative.

Becoming a Parent

Every parent wants to give their child the best possible start in life and research shows that the first months and years of life directly affect the future health and wellbeing of all children.

Pregnancy, birth and early parenthood can be a time of adjustment, and while it can be rewarding it can also be a time of change and challenge. Depression and anxiety can happen at any time, but we know women are more likely to be affected by stress, anxiety and depression and related disorders during the perinatal period.

Brochures and Booklets

You can call 1300 22 4636 or visit the website to download these online, or order a copy to be sent to you from

  • Understanding perinatal depression and anxiety
  • The beyond babyblues Guide to Emotional Health and Wellbeing During Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
  • Managing Mental Health Conditions During Pregnancy and Early Parenthood – A Guide for Women and their Families’
  • Emotional Health during Pregnancy and Early Parenthood: Information for Parents of Multiple Birth Children

  • Dad’s handbook: A guide to the first 12 months

  • beyondblue Guide for Carers

Where Can You Get Help?

For access to local doctors, pharmacies, emergency departments and hospitals, click on the link to the National Health Services Directory for listings in your area.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Child Health and Parenting Service (CHAPS)


Good Beginnings (Family Support Hobart) (03) 6223 5810

Parenting Centre (03) 6233 2700



Aboriginal Health Services (03) 6234 0777

Association of Relatives and Friends of Mentally Ill (ARAFMI) (03) 6228 7448

Beyondblue 1300 22 4636

Dads in Distress (Helpline and support service) 1300 853 437

Early Support for Parents (03) 6223 2937

Gateway 1800 171 233

GP Psych Support 1800 200 588

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

Lifeline Australia 13 11 14

Mental Health Services Helpline 1800 332 388

Mens Line Australia 1300 78 99 78

Post and Antenatal Depression Association Inc. (PANDA) 1300 726 306

Parenting helpline (24 hrs/day) 1300 808 178

Relationships Australia 1300 364 277