Course 3: Care of women with severe and complex mental illness during the perinatal period

Course overview

Perinatal mental disorders may require the management of extreme risk to a mother and her baby. This course aims to enhance the skills and competencies of mental health practitioners who assess and manage women who develop severe mental disorders during pregnancy and in the first year postnatally. Developed in line with the perinatal mental health competency framework, the course will address a range of topics to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to work competently and effectively.

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A series of presentations, led by visiting lecturers and other expert contributors, will cover the range of disorders, presentations and potential risks that practitioners need to be able to understand and manage. The importance of the baby’s perspective will be considered throughout all aspects of the course. 

The course will have formal teaching sessions with group exercises and case discussions.

The course will cover the following areas:

The mental health practitioner

Understanding the perinatal context

Working across agencies and disciplines

Understanding “attachment behaviour”

Understanding one’s own emotional responses

Assessing and managing risk

Keeping the partner/father and family in mind

Contributing to clinical decision-making

Considering psychological treatment

Considering the mother-baby relationship 

Working with inpatient psychiatric mother and baby units 

Working with social care to manage risk to the baby and children

Knowledge about

Anxiety disorders

Mood disorders

Post partum psychosis

Schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder

Personality disorders

Physical and psychological treatments

This course meets the Perinatal Competency framework domains as detailed here

"Excellent course – very comprehensive and has helped me develop  confidence in assessing perinatal women"

"I found every bit of the content, relevant, informative, and interesting. Every person working with pregnant women should have this training"

"Extremely useful for clinicians especially as perinatal mental health is such a highly specialist area and there appears to be a lack of appropriate training available. I would highly recommend this course to fellow mental health clinicians /colleagues."

This course will be delivered online over four half-days. Dates will be confirmed here in due course.

Please contact us at if you are interested in commissioning places.

The fee per person when commissioning individual places on this course is £575  per person

For further information or if you have any queries, please contact us at

Course length:
2 days
Admission status:
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If you have any queries, please contact us at