Our purpose

At COPE, our purpose is to prevent the incidence and minimise the impact of emotional and mental health problems that occur in the perinatal period, and to improve the quality of life of those living with these conditions.  We achieve this through our mission, vision and strategic goals.

Unfortunately, there is still a stigma around depression generally.  We can be our own worst enemies – especially when it comes to parenthood.  We need to stop giving each other a hard time and come together with understanding, love and support.

COPE’s Vision

COPE’s vision is a connected, informed and empowered community that supports women and their families to achieve strong and enduring mental health during pregnancy and the year following birth.

COPE’s Mission

COPE will enable mandatory national perinatal mental health screening and referrals, based on the National Perinatal Mental Health Guideline, to ensure the best mental and emotional health and wellbeing of Australian mothers and their families.

COPE’s Goals

  • At COPE, we work with others to raise awareness and understanding, so conditions are identified early.
  • We are committed to stopping the current stigma that exists, so people feel supported to speak up and seek help early.
  • COPE informs and educates through providing high quality, evidence-based information to empower people and guide them to care.  We also serve to equip health professionals with knowledge, skills and confidence so that they can provide safe and effective care.
  • Through working with leading experts, COPE supports world-leading research to enhance practice and to inform policy and services.
  • Finally, through working with consumers and partners, we provide a voice to advocate for the needs of women, men and their families in the perinatal period.

For more information about our purpose and strategic directions, you can view or download our Prospectus.

Advocacy in action

Dr Nicole Highet, Founder and Executive Directory of COPE participated in the Victorian Government’s Inquiry into Perinatal Services in 2018, advocating for innovation and accessibility in mental health screening during and after pregnancy.