Welcome to the COPE Revised Basic Skills in Perinatal mental Health Program. Below is a brief overview of this course. <strong>This course is made up of three core modules:</strong> <ol> <li>Understanding the perinatal context and disorders as covered in the 2023 Guideline</li> <li>Screening and psychosocial assessment</li> <li>Treatment and referral pathways</li> </ol> <h3>Lesson Resources</h3> This course is filled with valuable tools to support your learning when completing the course and following in your day to day practice. <strong>Lesson Notebooks:</strong> At the beginning of each Module you will find a Lesson Notebook which you can take notes as you progress through each lesson. <h3>Lesson Quizzes</h3> At the end of the lesson you will find the lesson quiz. This must be completed for each lesson and achieve an 80% pass rate in order to progress to the next lesson and receive your certificate of completion at the end of the course. NOTE: Once you have completed each lesson, simply click the ‘<em>Complete and Continue</em>‘ link in the top right hand corner of each lesson to record your progress and take you to the next lesson. <h3>Disclaimer</h3> This course is based on the best available evidence at the time of its content preparation. This course is intended to provide general education to practitioners.
Free perinatal mental health training to improve your practice
Basic Skills in Perinatal Mental Health is a free perinatal mental health training course that provides an overview of the COPE online training program developed from the 2023 National Perinatal Mental Health Guideline: Mental Health in the Perinatal Period: Australian Clinical Practice Guideline.
- Free online perinatal mental health course, fully funded by the Australian Government
- Pre-accredited with ACM ACMHN) for 12 hours of CPD.
- Three modules, 20 lessons
- Complete at your own pace within 6 weeks
- Complete on a desktop, laptop or tablet (not on a phone).
- Digital certificate of completion provided upon successful completion of course
Helping midwives, maternal health nurses, and other health professionals deliver best practice care
Basic Skills in Perinatal Mental Health has been created to help midwives, maternal health nurses, or other health professionals who deliver care to new and expectant parents and their babies.
This course is designed to:
- Increase your knowledge, confidence, and skills to screen clients in accordance with the 2023 National Perinatal Mental Health Guideline: Mental Health in the Perinatal Period: Australian Clinical Practice Guideline.
- Help increase your confidence and competence in having the conversation around perinatal health with women in your care.
- Demonstrate your commitment to the perinatal mental health as part of your patients’ postnatal care
- Help reduce the gap between physical and mental health care
With the national roll-out of the perinatal mental health screening tool, iCOPE, the demand for enhanced perinatal mental health support & treatment continues to grow. This makes it an opportune time to invest in developing your knowledge, confidence and competence in this unique field.
Complete CPD in your own time, at your own pace
This free perinatal mental health course is pre-accredited with the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) and the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) for twelve hours of continuous professional development (CPD).
It can be completed in your own time and at your own pace within a 6-week timeframe, on a desktop, laptop or tablet. (Please note, the course cannot be completed on a phone.) You will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.
All course content is underpinned by evidence-based best practice in accordance with the Australian Clinical Practice Guideline developed by COPE for the Australian government and approved by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
What’s inside this free perinatal mental health course?
To nurture your mental health professional development, this free perinatal mental health training offers:
- Immediate and unlimited access to all lessons and resources for the lifetime of the course
- 3 course modules, 20 lessons
- 10 hours of online learning that you can complete in your own time, at your own pace
- Digital copy of the 2023 Guideline, Mental Health in the Perinatal Period: Australian Clinical Practice Guideline.
- Transcripts of all modules and lessons
- Course resources including fact sheets, templates, checklists and health promotion assets for your setting
- Case studies based on real-life consumer and family experiences
- Lesson assessments to consolidate your learning and track your progress
- Digital certificate in perinatal mental health training pertaining to the Basic Skills course
- The opportunity to apply to be a best practice service provider digital badge
Course modules and lessons
Module 1: Overview of mental health disorders in the perinatal period
- The perinatal context (New)
- Psychoeducation (New)
- Perinatal depression and anxiety
- Borderline personality disorder
- Psychological birth trauma (New)
- Severe mental illness (bipolar disorder, postpartum psychosis, schizophrenia)
- Enabling effective care
Module 2: Psychosocial assessment and screening
- Preparing for screening and assessment
- Screening for signs and symptoms (EPDS)
- Psychosocial assessment (ANQR)
- Responding to screening and assessment
- Assessing and responding to ensure maternal safety
- Assessing mother-infant interaction (bonus lesson)
- 4 x Case Studies – Eve, Sarah, Sophia and Rachel
Module 3: Referral Pathways, Management Plans, and Practitioner Development
- Prevention and treatment of perinatal depression and anxiety
- Formulating a management plan and referral
- Treatment and management of severe mental illness
- How to be a best practice service provider
- 4 Case Studies, revisited – Eve, Sarah, Sophia and Rachel
You’ll also receive the COPE Matrix Framework
The Matrix Framework of Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Disorders has been developed to:
- Provide guidelines on the core skills required by health professionals involved in screening, referral and providing support and/or treatment for depression and related disorders in the perinatal period
- Ensure uniform standards of comprehensive clinical care informed by clinical practice guidelines (Centre of Perinatal Excellence, 2023)
- Promote best practice across Australia for perinatal mental health training, informed by the Clinical Practice Guidelines
- Inform organisations currently providing or developing professional development courses
- Inform the development of National Standards against which existing training programs and services can be assessed
Plus, gain Best Practice Provider endorsement
Upon completion of the Basic Skills In Perinatal Mental Health course you can apply to COPE to be recognised as a best practice service provider.
If approved, you’ll receive your unique digital certification.
This endorsement can help you increase patient trust, and provide patient support and reassurance of your capacity to look after your patients’ physical, mental and emotional needs during and after the birth of their baby.
Successful completion means you will also receive our Basic Skills in Perinatal Mental Health certification of completion which can be presented for accreditation of 10 CPD points.
Praise for COPE’s free online perinatal mental health training
I think all health care workers in contact with women and children should undertake this course. The templates and Facts sheet are very handy and informative as well. I will always come back to print out more for patients in my care – Vivian
Excellent course. Great opportunity for midwives to gain knowledge of pathways and management plans to optimise care for women in the perinatal period. This course would be great to be included in mandatory training for midwives. – Sandra
The course provides a great opportunity to update on best practice in providing support to women experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. The templates and factsheets are also a great resource to assist in case management. – Sharon
Excellent resource, thank you. It has provided me with a greater understanding of the perinatal mental health issues that may affect women and their families; greater ability to screen for issues and plan for referral and management to ensure women receive timely and targeted support. – Kerrie
This program is funded by the Australian Government
- Guidelines Expert Committee Members(click on the link)
- Matrix Framework for perinatal depression and anxiety disorders (click on the link)
- Mental Health in the Perinatal Period(click on the link)
Module 1 Overview In this Module we provide an overview of the six disorders covered in the National Perinatal Mental Health Guideline. This includes the more common conditions of depression and anxiety (Lesson 1), more severe mental health conditions - bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and postpartum psychosis (Lesson 2) together with an overview of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in the perinatal period (Lesson 3). In covering each of these conditions, we will consider the experience of woman and the implications of consumer experiences, and what this might mean for your practice. In the final lesson (lesson 4) we will discuss the core principles for enabling effective care for women who experience and live with these, often complex conditions, in the perinatal period. Included with each lesson is a range of resources for health professionals, consumers and carers. It is important that you complete ALL quiz questions at the end of each lesson and the case studies at the end of the module, in order to receive accreditation and your certificate at the end of the program. To get started with Module 1, simply click on the 'Complete and continue' button (top right corner) on your screen.
In this module we will cover the what, when, why and how of screening and assessment in the perinatal period. First we will discuss why screening and assessment is an important part of perinatal health care, and provide you with strategies that can be helpful when introducing screening within your setting and with the women in your care (lesson 1). We then focus upon tools and approaches recommended in the National Guideline to screen for symptoms of depression and anxiety (lesson 2) and assess for the presence of psychosocial risk factors (lesson 3). Following, we will look at how to respond to screening and assessment (lesson 4) including addressing any indication of safety issues for the woman and her fetus/infant (lesson 5). We have also included a bonus module focusing on assessment and responding to mother-infant attachment issues (lesson 6). Tools, scoring guides and resources are included throughout this module, to support best practice in perinatal screening and assessment. To get started with Module 2, simply click on the 'Complete and Continue' button (top right corner) on your screen.
In this Module we will focus on the steps that follow screening and assessment: referral and treatment. This will begin with an overview of what the National Guideline tells us about what is effective in the prevention and treatment of the most common conditions – perinatal depression and anxiety (Lesson 1). Following, we review the necessary steps to formulate a management plan and consider referral options for someone in need of a further mental health assessment and treatment of these common conditions (lesson 2). In the final lesson we will review the recommended treatment and management of the more severe mental illnesses and Borderline Personality Disorder (Lesson 3). We will consider the role of healthcare professionals and that of other providers in the management of these conditions in the perinatal period. Throughout each lesson you will be provided with a range of tools and resources to support you and consumers in the referral, treatment and management of perinatal mental health conditions. It is important that you complete ALL quiz questions at the end of each lesson and the case studies at the end of the module, in order to receive accreditation and your certificate at the end of the program. To get started with Module 3, simply click on the 'Complete and Continue' button (top right corner) on your screen.