NSW Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services (PIMHS) is a free, statewide mental health service that helps women and parents who:
Depending on where you live and your situation, this service is offered at clinics, hospitals, community health centres, at your home or via telehealth.
Some clinicians are also midwives or child and family health nurses.
PIMHS supports mums, dads, parents, babies and families, including LGBTIQ families, with a range of diagnosed, severe or complex perinatal mental health disorders including:
The focus of PIMHS is to:
The service can:
Free advice and services are available:
To access services, you will need to:
If you live in rural or remote NSW, where there are limited perinatal and infant mental health services, it is possible to get help through the Statewide Outreach Perinatal Service - Mental Health (SwOPS-mh), via telehealth and speak to a PIMHS clinician and perinatal psychiatrist located at Westmead hospital in Sydney.
Telehealth is a video consultation over a secure platform (similar to Skype or Zoom) that can maintain patient privacy.
A telehealth consultation is usually held at a community health centre or mental health service, and can also be accessed at your home if necessary.
The consultation will be between you and a PIMHS clinician in Sydney. A local health professional will also be present online during the consultation and will help and support you with the advice given by the PIMHS clinician.
To access telehealth, you will first need to talk to your local NSW Health worker, who will make a referral to SwOPS-mh telehealth service. Find your nearest NSW health centre using the
If you are pregnant or have just had a baby and are currently in custody, you can also access PIMHS through the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network. Talk to your Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health worker and ask for a referral to PIMHS.
When you speak to PIMHS staff, they will ask you some questions, such as:
Treatment may include:
Many medications are safe for a mother and baby.
You may want to ask the perinatal psychiatrist about the effects of medication on pregnancy, lactation and breastfeeding.