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Better together: Supporting perinatal and infant mental health services

The project will map how services in the cities of Wanneroo/Joondalup interact to enhance the quality of perinatal and infant mental health services for the community. Service providers will be invited to work with the research team over 12 months to design, implement and evaluate the network of services that families with infants and young children access. We will use an action research method to analyse the system as well as the client experiences. Together with the community, the project will work to improve the system responsiveness to the social wellbeing and mental health needs of families with infants and young children, from both prevention and intervention perspectives. This will be done through capturing factors that help and that hinder networking and through building workforce development plans, training pathways and resources to increase the awareness of perinatal and infant mental health, referral pathways, good practice and interventions.

The project will be located within the ECU Psychology Services Centre, specifically, the Pregnancy to Parenthood clinic. This is a specialist service and training clinic that provides a unique identification and early intervention service to young families who are pregnant or have babies and infants aged 0-3 years. Clinical psychology registrars provide a specialist service to the public aimed to ensure the optimal psychological wellbeing of mothers, fathers, infants and young children. All work occurs under the direct supervision of Ms Rochelle Matacz who is an infant mental health mentor and an experienced clinical psychologist.

In addition the project will draw upon expertise available from staff and students in the first West Australian postgraduate course in Infant Mental Health that was established at ECU in 2016, ECU’s School of Education and ECU's School of Nursing and Midwifery .

Funding agency

WA Primary Health Alliance

Project duration

April 2017 - May 2018


Associate Professor Lynn Priddis
Associate Professor Sara Bayes
Professor Caroline Barratt-Pugh
Professor Julie Ann Pooley
Ms Rochelle Matacz

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