NEW National Perinatal Mental Health Guideline


COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to review the existing Australian perinatal mental health guideline initially developed by beyondblue (2011).

An Expert Working Group (EWG) formed to develop the Guideline, has included representatives of the professional bodies in primary, maternity, postnatal and mental healthcare. The EWG was convened to guide and inform the development of the new Draft Perinatal Guideline.

Through the work of the EWG together with specialist expert sub-committees, the Guideline has been drafted, been to public consultation and this consultation feedback is now being reviewed in the finalisation for the Guideline prior to submission to the NHMC.

Details of the Draft Guideline

Draft Guideline Title: Effective Mental Health Care in the Perinatal Period: Australian COPEClinical Practice Guideline. (Title prior to consultation)

Guideline Developer: Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE). ABN: 50 203 962 931

Guideline Scope: The scope of the new Guideline now includes the assessment of the high prevalence disorders, and the treatment and management of these together with severe mental illnesses in primary care settings:

Disorders covered in the new draft Guideline include:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Bipolar Disorder
    • Puerperal Psychosis
    • Schizophrenia (new)
    • Borderline Personality Disorder (new)

Endorsement: The draft Guideline will be submitted to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for its approval under section 14A of the NHMRC Act.

Consultation Period: June 5th – July 4th, 2017: now closed.

How to access the draft Guideline and Technical Report

The Draft Guideline and Technical Report that were released for public consultation are available in the links below. Due to the extensive length of the technical report, each section can be downloaded individually.

Draft Guideline: Click on link below to download

Draft Perinatal Mental Health Guideline

Sections of the technical report: Click on links below to download

Part A: Governance

Part B: Assessment and Screening

Part C: Treatment and Prevention

Part C: Treatment and Prevention (Appendix)

Part D: Harms (treatment safety)

Part D: Harms (Appendix)

Full technical report: Click on link below to download full Technical Report

Perinatal Mental Health Evidence Review_Full Technical Report

Administrative report: Click on link below to download the Administrative Report

COPE Guideline Administrative Report

Note: All documents will be updated following the review and integration of feedback following public consultation.

Companion Documents

Following the submission and proposed endorsement of the Guideline in October, COPE will be developing a series of companion documents for health professionals, consumers and family members, to reflect the latest evidence as per the national Guideline.

Online Training Program for Health Professionals

In addition, COPE will be developing an free, accredited online training program for health professionals to support guideline implementation for health professionals across primary, maternity and postnatal healthcare settings.

Release of Guideline and Resources

The final Guideline, companion documents and online training program will be available in late October 2017 at the time of the official launch of the new Guideline.

To register your details and receive notification on the release of the Guideline, companion documents and online training program register your details here

Contact information:

For further information about the development of the draft Guideline please contact:
Dr Nicole Highet
Executive Director of COPE & Co-Chair, Guideline Expert Working Committee
Phone: 0438 810 235