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Aboriginal perinatal mental health training

St John of God Social Outreach and Advocacy Services will deliver more free perinatal and infant mental health training to health professionals in rural and remote locations in February and March 2013.

Combining significant expertise in early years services, developed through Raphael Centres over ten years and Aboriginal maternal and child health initiative Strong Family, Strong Culture, St John of God Health Care is well Mum and babyplaced to provide mental health training in a culturally appropriate framework.

Funded through the Australian Government Rural Health Alliance the training will enable health professionals working with Aboriginal families to support emotional, physical and social wellbeing needs of regional communities.

Aboriginal women experience perinatal mental health issues at a higher rate than non-Aboriginal women and some of this stems from the intergenerational issues relating to loss of family, culture and identity. Perinatal anxiety and depression can also affect infant development and attachment and cause ongoing social and emotional issues for Aboriginal families and their communities.

Anna Roberts, Group Manager for Early Years at St John of God Health Care, said: “This training has been devised by our Early Years team in collaboration with other health professionals. It will share knowledge and experience in the provision of perinatal and infant mental health services to improve outcomes for Aboriginal families, whilst recognising and promoting Aboriginal culture and traditions.

“Our experience in both the provision of Raphael Centre services and working with Aboriginal families in rural and remote Western Australia equips us well to provide this training and we are looking forward to engaging with health workers in WA, Victoria and New South Wales in the coming months.”

This training will support the health workforce to:

• Have confidence in engaging Aboriginal mothers, fathers and families;
• Develop a greater understanding of PIMH and attachment: and
• Clarify appropriate pathways to care. 

The training will incorporate local culture, traditions and beliefs and utilise local resources and expertise. Already delivered successfully in four locations across Victoria and Western Australia, the two-day education program will be delivered in the following locations in 2013:

• Geelong, Victoria – February 20/21
• Moruya, New South Wales – March 19/20

If you would like to secure your place for this free training or require further details please contact Louise Brooks on 08 6103 5595 or email Louise.Brooks@sjog.org.au – please note that places are limited.