Research

The SPIMHP team are committed to participating in and supporting research in the perinatal and infant mental health space. The team partner with a number of organisations to conduct and support cutting edge research that will work towards improving health outcomes for families in Western Australian and beyond.

Led by Professor Megan Galbally, Medical Co-Director of Women’s Health, Genetics and Mental Health Directorate, and the Foundation Chair in Perinatal Psychiatry across Murdoch University, Notre Dame University and King Edward Memorial Hospital, the service includes a Mother and Baby inpatient Unit, a Department of Psychological Medicine providing outpatient and consultation liaison service, and a non-clinical support service - Statewide Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Program.

Megan has a long history of research in psychiatry and perinatal mental health and is a board member of the International Marce Society and Section Chair of the Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry Section within Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. She is currently the Medical Co-Director for Women’s Health, Genetics and Mental Health Directorate at KEMH. 

Professor Galbally is the Chief Investigator of three longitudinal, prospective studies examining the effects of maternal depression and antidepressant treatment on child developmental outcomes. Megan has also developed specific services in perinatal mental health including an Antenatal clinic for Women with Schizophrenia and Bipolar at Mercy Hospital for Women. In addition, she is Editor of “Psychopharmacology and Pregnancy - Treatment Efficacy, Risks, and Guidelines” published by Springer in 2014.

Current research projects

The program currently supports and/or participates in a number of collaborative research projects including the “Rural and Remote Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study” (R&R PEWS) with WA Country Health Services and Murdoch University, the “Baby Coming You Ready” (BCYR) project with Ngangk Yira and Murdoch University, and the “Better Together” Project with Edith Cowan University. 

Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study

Objective: To examine the role of modifiable protective and risk factors for maternal mental health and child outcomes in a sample of women living in remote and regional WA.

Sites: FSH/KEMH, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Bunbury
Sample size: Aim to collect a total of 200 women (100 healthy control and 100 with diagnosed depression) in Metro Perth and 200 women across 3 sites in WACHS.

Baby Coming You Ready

Action research: A culturally safe effective therapeutic approach to screening for depression, anxiety and wellbeing concerns among Aboriginal parents-to-be.

Better Together – Supporting perinatal and infant mental health services

Service mapping Joondalup/Wanneroo: To improve the system responsiveness to the social wellbeing and mental health needs of families with infants/young children, both prevention and intervention perspectives.

Action research: To analyse system as well as consumer experiences.

Gestational Diabetes in women with Bipolar and schizophrenia: a multicentre retrospective study of women attending a specialist antenatal and mental health clinics in WA and Victoria.

This study includes Chief Investigators: Jacquie Frayne, Megan Galbally and Martien Snellen (Mercy Health, Victoria) and is a data linkage project exploring gestational diabetes in women with serious mental illness in Western Australia and Victoria.