Centre for Continuing Education

Perinatal Mental Health Course Online: An Introduction

Psychiatry. Encouraging a healthier community.

Developed and delivered by the Discipline of Psychiatry at Sydney Medical School, the University of Sydney, and open to all health professionals for continuing professional development.

Join this self-paced interactive online course to acquire the knowledge and confidence needed to provide mothers and fathers with mental health services during their perinatal period.

This introductory training course in perinatal mental health is suitable for anyone who works with women with mental health problems, such as nurses, social workers, community workers, psychologists, midwives and family counsellers, and is ideal for:

  • Health professionals and graduates who are entering the field of perinatal mental health,
  • Perinatal mental health workers who feel stuck and want to take their practice to the next level, and
  • Experienced perinatal mental health clinicians who want to revisit the basics as well as learn some distinctions from Australia’s leading experts in perinatal mental health research and practice.

Drawing from the extensive clinical experience and research of the State-wide Outreach Perinatal Service – mental health (SwOPS-mh) led by internationally renowned perinatal mental health expert Professor Philip Boyce, this online course will give you a flexible multimedia-based learning experience, and teach you the most important principles in perinatal mental health, covering a wide range of clinical and psychosocial issues from preconception, to pregnancy, and through to the postpartum stage.

This course accepts enrolments throughout the year and does not have any prerequisite requirements.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the issues and importance of preconception counselling
  • outline the presentation, mechanism and consequences of perinatal depression and anxiety and the use of non-medication treatments
  • discuss the clinical issues and management of psychotic disorders in pregnancy and postpartum
  • outline infant and adult attachment categories and their implications in perinatal mental health
  • describe the possible impact on men over the perinatal period
  • outline the safety and use of psychotropic drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • conduct risk-benefit analysis of medication over the perinatal period.


This course covers the following topics:

  • preconception counselling
  • depression and anxiety in the perinatal period
  • psychosis in the perinatal period
  • attachment theory
  • perinatal depression and fathers
  • drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Delivery style

Delivered in an e-learning system with the following components:

  • pre-course test
  • social chat forum where you can introduce yourself to the class and organise local meet-up groups
  • Q & A forum where you can ask questions and get feedback from the tutor and other participants
  • multimedia modules with audio-visual lectures and interactive quizzes
  • lecture notes download
  • lecture audios download
  • assessment task
  • Statement of Completion download.

You will have 90 days to complete the course at your own pace. It takes approximately 6 hours to complete it. Within the enrolment period, access to the e-learning system is available anytime and anywhere in the world as long as you have a reliable and high speed Internet connection.

The lecture audios were recorded in a professional studio and are of high quality. You can download them to your mobile devices and continue to listen to the course while travelling.


The development of this course received financial support from the State-wide Outreach Perinatal Service – mental health (SwOPS-mh), NSW Ministry of Health. Contributors of the course materials include Professor Philip Boyce, Dr Amanda Bray, Ms Joanne Robinson and Dr Ian Thorburn.


  • Convenient online access
  • Mobile learning supported
  • High quality course audios
  • Expert academic support
  • Statement of Completion

We acknowledge the tradition of custodianship and law of the Country on which the University of Sydney campuses stand. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for the Country.