Perinatal Mental Health gets a lift from Best Start Grant success

Monday 22 February 2021

Mater’s newly established Perinatal Mental Health Team celebrated a win this year. As one of four winners of Mater’s inaugural Best Start Grant, Senior Psychologist Dr Constanze Schulz and her team, will continue to work to help pregnant women and new mothers who experience some mental health issues.  Their work will help contribute to shape services offered through Mater’s upcoming Family Wellbeing Service.

“The grant would allow clinicians from this service to attend the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Intensive Training. Specifically aimed at providing an overview of contemporary approaches of assessment, formulation and treatment in both the antenatal and postnatal phases. Our team would then be able to ensure that we are all offering a uniform approach, guided by best practices as outlined by the Centre of Perinatal Excellence.”

The Best Start Grant provides funding to support project staff salaries, direct project costs and education or training expenses for clinical research. The Perinatal Mental Health team will offer individual therapeutic interventions and groups addressing adjustment to parenthood, self-care and bonding with the baby.

The Mater Family Wellbeing Service will be established in ‘Catherine’s House’, the soon to be refurbished convent on Mater’s South Brisbane campus, with plans to expand beyond South East Queensland in future. The service will provide specialist perinatal and infant mental health services for women and their families across a spectrum of care and treatment options from preconception through to pregnancy, birth and into the postnatal period.

The new service will be available to all mothers, babies and families in need. It will focus on giving families the ‘best possible start’ during the first critical, early years of life and will offer services and care that promote wellness, parental mental health, healthy relationships and child development.

With the support of The Rotary Club Brisbane, the Mater Family Wellbeing Service Best Start Grant has been established to foster research and educational activities that will have an immediate, direct and positive impact on achieving the service’s aims.

Want to find out more about mental health services at Mater? Please visit Mater Mothers’ or Mater Emotional Health Unit websites.