Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

Rapid Communication

Current considerations of the effects of untreated maternal perinatal depression and the National Perinatal Depression Initiative

P. Halla1 c1

a1 SAHealth, National Perinatal Depression Initiative, South Australia


Postnatal and antenatal depression present significant public health concerns. Current opinion on the use of these terms is noted. Previous research findings demonstrate that detrimental effects of untreated maternal depression/anxiety are potentially severe and impact on the whole family; longer-term effects on child development are described. Australia has responded to such overwhelming empirical evidence by the implementation of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative. Key objectives and a brief overview of the work in progress of this Initiative are offered.

(Online publication January 17 2012)


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr P. Hall, Mental Health Unit, SA Health, PO Box 287, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. (Email