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Time for a new zeitgeist in perinatal mental health


Judd, F and Newman, LK and Komiti, AA, Time for a new zeitgeist in perinatal mental health, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 52, (2) pp. 112-116. ISSN 0004-8674 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2017

DOI: doi:10.1177/0004867417741553


Perinatal depression, and to a lesser extent anxiety, has been the focus of interest for perinatal psychiatrists for several decades. Policy and substantial funding has supported this. We argue that it is now time to change this focus and to invest greater funding to support clinical and research effort in ‘high-risk’ caregivers and their infants. We define high-risk caregivers as those who are likely to have attachment and relationship difficulties with their infant as a result of their own developmental experiences, personality difficulties and/or trauma-related mental disorders, often complicated by substance abuse, depression and anxiety. We propose that early intervention with such caregivers, focussing on both maternal mental health and on the needs of the infant for responsive and sensitive interaction and emotional care, would contribute to prevention of infant developmental disorders, with real gains to be made in breaking the transgenerational cycle of development of severe personality disorder.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:perinatal, mental health, early intervention
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Judd, F (Professor Fiona Judd)
ID Code:130887
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-02-19
Last Modified:2019-12-03

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