I had the opportunity to be a key note speaker at this conference of which the theme was ‘Passion and Compassion in Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Nursing’.
The health of mothers, infants and families is really that starting point in a person’s life course and what happens at that important time can have lasting effects.
We know that the period from conception until two years post birth is the time of highest risk for women. This is the time when they are more likely to develop mental health problems. These issues, as we know, not only impact mothers, they also impact on fathers who are at risk for depression and anxiety.
Consequently the functioning of families is at risk. The impact on infants, their ability to bond with parents, is affected and can have lifelong consequences.
The Queensland Mental Health and Drug Strategic Plan will give focus to these issues and build on the work already being done.
Many of these new mums and dads rely on the health system to provide them with support whether that is through their GPs or through care both in hospitals and in communities. Nurses play a central role to this care and in improving the mental health and wellbeing of Queenslanders.