Perinatal mental health has a major impact on women and their families, including maternal morbidity and mortality, obstetric complications, neonatal and infant death, and adverse outcomes for both mother, child and the family. We use mixed methods, including epidemiological and qualitative research, systematic reviews, development and evaluation of therapies, development of clinical management guidelines to improve outcomes for pregnant women and their children, analysis of the biological correlates of perinatal mental disorders, and investigation into the impact on parenting skills and long-term offspring development.
In addition we are carrying out a number of research projects on domestic violence, including examining the response of mental health services to domestic violence (LARA), carrying out systematic reviews on the prevalence of domestic violence experienced by mental health users, and epidemiological research investigating the impact of antenatal domestic violence on women's mental health antenatally and postnatally and the impact this has on child development using the ALSPAC cohort.
We evaluate complex interventions for women with mental health problems including women's crisis houses (CHOICES), mother and baby units (ALTERNATIVES study; ESMI study) and health visitor delivered non-directive counselling RESPOND. We lead on gender aspects of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust /Institute of Psychiatry Biomedical Research Centre Stakeholder Participation Theme and are investigating the impact of stigma on women's mental health (SAPPHIRE).