‘Healthy Mother, Sustainable Nation’: A study into the factors averting poor perinatal mental health

Name: Melissa Sherrel Pereira

Supervisors: Dr Catherine Chojenta, Prof Deborah Loxton


Depression and/or anxiety disorders are said to affect each and every individual at any one time point of their life. The impact of these common mental health disorders in the perinatal period is huge and has negative consequences for the woman, the infant, the partner and the immediate family. The aim of our research is to investigate the preventative factors associated with poor perinatal mental health in women with a history of mental illness, particularly depression and anxiety. A qualitative analysis will also be undertaken exploring the lives of young women with a history of depression or anxiety and their transition to motherhood. This research will utilize data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH). Therefore, this study will influence health policy development and practice in women’s health and health services in the state and federal governments.