This Course is designed for nurses or midwives who are caring for pregnant women/new mothers who show signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder.
01 Dec 2015
Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a Registered General and mental health nurse who has worked in a wide variety of acute and community care mental health settings. Working as an academic at the University of the Sunshine Coast, her PhD research explored how women diagnosed with depression made the decision to receive electroconvulsive treatment. She is now engaged in work that focuses on the medicalisation of women’s health and emotional wellbeing. Teaching more than 600 students every year and involved in immersive mental health simulation, Karen-Ann has a passion for working with students in a way that minimises stigma and normalises emotional responses to life.
Nurses or midwives who are caring for pregnant women/new mothers who show signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder.
Enhance understanding of how the vulnerable nature of pregnancy and childbirth can influence the emergence of mental health disorders in women.
It is widely accepted that the perinatal period (including birth and the following twelve months) is a time of extraordinary change in a woman’s life and that is it very common for a woman to experience a wide range of emotions. For many women, anxieties and fears spontaneously resolve, however there is a growing number of women for whom pregnancy and parenthood can trigger more serious mental health concerns. Women who have a history of pre-existing mental health disorders, who experience a lack of support, who have a previous history of trauma, or who are isolated by distance or culture (such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, or those from a culturally or linguistically diverse background) face a greater risk to their emotional wellbeing.
Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and more severe disorders such as psychosis impact on the wellbeing of not only the mother, but her baby and significant others and may have a profound impact upon the dynamics of family relationships. Nurses and midwives must have a fundamental understanding of these mental health disorders in order to screen for them effectively in the perinatal period and to recognise the emergence of signs and symptoms of mental ill health. This will allow them to respond with care that is evidenced-based, culturally safe and family-centered.
Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.