Perinatal Mental Health

This research is a ground-breaking project because it aims to enhance Perinatal Mental Health in Western Australian Aboriginal communities through the development and piloting of culturally-inclusive support programs for Aboriginal families, including a program for fathers.  


As part of this, the project team will work closely with Aboriginal expectant and new parents to develop inclusive concepts of family and parental wellbeing that are meaningful to Aboriginal people.  These concepts will undergo a full cultural validation as part of the project.  The project will have a strong focus on capacity-building, resilience and working within a positive framework.  The project will run over three years and include a comprehensive evaluation.

In regard to the fathers program we have been successful in attracting a Beyond Blue National Priority Driven Competitive Research Grant for the development and piloting of culturally-inclusive family-based support interventions for Aboriginal expectant fathers in Western Australia. This grant was one of only fourteen successful applications from many that were submitted.  Due to our focus on fathers, our grant is funded in partnership with the Movember Foundation. Other grants awarded to this project are from Healthway and City of Swan

The fathers program is known as Maambart Maam and identified as “Aboriginal fathers’ and grandfathers’ journey with culturally appropriate and accepted footsteps to reclaim their traditional identity within the family so they can enjoy their parental rites of passage and model respect and positive self-esteem.”

The project is led by highly-experienced Aboriginal health professionals with clinical careers spanning decades, and researchers who are well-known in the participating communities.  Our collaborators include Murdoch University and the Western Australian Perinatal Mental Health Unit.