PEHS is a free service that provides perinatal mental health assessment and treatment and receives referrals for women from the time the pregnancy is confirmed up until baby turns one. Pregnancy, birth and early parenting can be a joyful experience but also a challenging time and a period of great change.  

Whilst the biggest risk factor for developing a mental health condition in pregnancy is a previous mental health history, other life stressors and previous trauma can increase vulnerability to mental health difficulties. The PEHS team are able to assist women to navigate mental health services both within the hospital and in the community as well as provide a mental health assessment and treatment.  

The team work closely with antenatal services at Eastern Health Box Hill and Angliss as well as Maternal and Child Health Services within the Eastern Metropolitan Region. We can also liaise with mental health services at Eastern Health and Mother Baby Units. 

PEHS is a small team of professionals that include mental health social workers, occupational therapist, mental health nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, registrars and clinical midwife consultants.

We provide a range of support and treatment for women who are experiencing distress related to pregnancy and birth such as anxiety, mood swings, sadness and anger.

This may be related to birth trauma, health and wellbeing concerns, and difficulties coping with the transition to parenthood, relationship changes for parents during the perinatal period or feeling isolated.  

  • Birth preparation/planning/debrief 
  • Mental health assessment, treatment planning and medication reviews

Face to face and/or via Tele-Health appointments.  

  • Assist with adjustment to the demands of being a new parent and building the attachment relationship between mother and baby. 
  • Provide information about mental health and support to understand your feelings and behaviours that are concerning you. 
  • Provide support and work with you to explore coping strategies 
  • Assist with linkages to community supports such as GP’s, Mother Baby Units, private practitioners, Orange Door and local government services. 
  • Medication reviews with a psychiatrist and/or registrar.

PEHS accepts referrals from your midwife, GP, mental health service or you can refer yourself.

If you think you would benefit from PEHS, please talk to your midwife/doctor/health care provider,

OR Phone: (03) 9194 7694  

  • PANDA– 1300 726 306 
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
  • Relationships Australia: 8573 2222
  • Perinatal Emotional Health Service is not a crisis service, if you need immediate support please contact: EH Psychiatric Triage: 1300 721 927

  1. When a referral is made to PEHS we receive information about what is currently happening and what is needed by the referrer.
  2. The team meets weekly to decide if PEHS is the best service for you. Sometimes you may be offered an alternative option. 
  3. A midwife will call to offer an appointment by phone or an alternative recommendation. 
  4. At the first appointment you will meet a clinician or a psychiatrist/ registrar and they will talk with you about your concerns and what brought you to PEHS. It is encouraged that you bring your baby to your appointments and your partner and family if you wish. 
  5. The clinician will then plan with you what treatment and support is recommended and how you may work together toward your identified goals. Most often episodes of care are no longer than 8-10 sessions.