Perinatal and infant mental health toolbox


Perinatal Depressive and Anxiety Disorders

Written by the Statewide Obstetric Support Unit (SOSU) and released in 2007, these guidelines provide recommendations for the screening, diagnosis, referral and management of Western Australian women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Perinatal Depressive and Anxiety Disorders (SOSU guidelines)

Screening and assessment

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)

The EPDS is used to screen for the risk of perinatal depression and anxiety. It is very useful for determining the level of need for referral.

If you haven't used the EPDS before, WHCSP offers a half-day training session. See our training page for details.

Copies of the EPDS are available from WHCSP – just contact us. There are also 36 translated versions available.

EPDS ancillary psychosocial questionnaires

Recent research by Brooks et al (2011) examined the psychosocial risk factors for poor perinatal mental health. The study found that certain sets of risk factors were more associated with poor mental health in either the antenatal or postnatal periods. Consequently the researchers were able to develop two sets of questions – one for the antenatal period, one for the postnatal period - based on these risk factors. It is hoped that clinicians can use these psychosocial questionnaires to enhance their EPDS screening procedures.

Antenatal and postnatal psychosocial questionnaires

Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale (PASS)

The Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale (PASS) is a questionnaire that screens for a broad range of problematic anxiety symptoms. It can be used in conjunction with other perinatal assessment tools such as the EPDS or the psychosocial risk assessment tool.

The Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale: development and preliminary validation 
The Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale (PASS): Administration, Scoring and Interpretation Guidelines 
Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale 

Mothers with serious mental illness

The North Metropolitan Area Health Service has resources available to assist health professionals working with mothers with serious mental illness. The resources highlight the importance of healthy bonding and attachment between mothers and their infants. The following are available:

Healthy Mother-Infant Relationship Clinician’s Manual
Healthy Mother-Infant Relationship Assessment flowchart 
Childbirth and Mental Illness (CAMI) antenatal clinic referral form 


Referral Pathway 

The Women's Health Clinical Support Unit (WHCSU) have developed a customisable referral pathway for perinatal mental health.

It is designed for use with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).

Perinatal Mental Health Referral pathway.

Women's Health Centres

Women's Health Services provide quality, holistic healthcare services to enable women to make informed decisions regarding their health and lifestyle. 

A list of Women’s Health Centres in WA.

Parenting WA Courses Guide

The Guide lists over 1000 workshops and groups of interest to parents and families. Courses are offered throughout the greater Perth metropolitan area including Mandurah.

Parenting WA Courses Guide (external link)


Resources produced by Women's Health Strategy and Programs

Care for your baby by caring for yourself. Free within WA. Contact us to request copies.
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Free within WA. For health professionals only. Contact us to request copies. Department of Health employees - Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
Postnatal anxiety and depression (pamphlet, 2012)
Being a Mum (pamphlet, 2015)
Being a Dad (pamphlet, 2015)
Boodjarri Business: Yarning about Feelings After Baby (DVD, 2007). Free within WA. Contact us to request copies.
Boodjarri Business: Working with Aboriginal Mums, Babies and Families (DVD, 2007). Free within WA. For health professionals only.Contact us to request copies.
You Are Not Alone: Emotional Health for Mothers (DVD, 2007).
There are three versions of this DVD, developed for different communities in their native languages:
  • Ethiopian community (Amharic language)
  • Sudanese community (Dinka language)
Free within WA.
Contact us to request copies.

Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS): Translated into languages other than English.
36 translated versions of the EPDS have been developed for use with non-English speaking women.
Free within WA. For health professionals only. Available on CD or for download.
Contact us to request copies.
Department of Health employees - download EPDS translations (WNHS intranet)

Resources from other organisations

beyondblue (external link)
COPMI: Children of parents with mental illness (external link)
MensLine Australia (external link)
Kidsmatter Early Childhood (external link)

Support services

Emotional health for parents – help and support.

PANDA Helpline (Post and Antenatal Depression Association)
1300 726 306
(9.30am to 4.30pm Eastern Standard Time, Mon to Fri)

Mental Health Emergency Response Line
1300 555 788 (metro)
1800 676 822 (rural)
(24 hours, 7 days a week)

Rural Link (mental health phone service for rural communities)
1800 552 002
(24 hours, 7 days a week)

Parenting Line (information and advice for parents) 6279 1200 (metro) 1800 654 432 (rural) (24 hours, 7 days a week)

Helpful links

Australian Association for Infant Mental Health 
Circle of Security 


Marcé Society, Australasian Branch 

NMHR Guidelines
Post and Antenatal Depression Association Inc (Panda) 
Zero to Three (National Centre for infants, toddlers and families