'What Were We Thinking! Preventing postnatal mental health problems among...

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La Trobe University, Brian Grogan Lecture Theatre

471 Benetook Ave

Mildura, Vic 3500


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Event description


Date Tuesday 29 August 2017

Time: 3.00 pm – 4:30 pm | Registration

Location: La Trobe University, Brian Grogan Lecture Theatre, 471 Benetook Avenue, Mildura, Victoria, 3502

Presenters; Prof Jane Fisher | Academic Clinical Psychologist and co-developer of What Were We Thinking! | Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Sue Doogan | Midwife and Maternal & Child Health Nurse Fiona Darling | Senior Project Officer | Jean Hailes for Women’s Health

Cost: This event is provided at no cost by Murray PHN,

Target audience: All relevant health professionals (Obstetricians, GPs, Practice Nurses, Registered Nurses, Maternal & Child Health Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, Pharmacists, Social Workers, Counsellors, Psychologists & Psychiatrists)


What Were We Thinking! (WWWT) is an evidence-based, gender-informed psychoeducation program for parents of first babies. It promotes parents’ confidence and wellbeing, and reduces common postpartum mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. This presentation offers a multidisciplinary approach to examine new ways of thinking about mental health promotion and prevention in new parents by offering the following presentations:

  1. Professor Jane Fisher: current responses and new evidence
  2. Fiona Darling: Introduction to WWWT e-mental health resources
  3. Sue Doogan: practical applications and lessons from the field

Learning outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the theoretical principles and evidence behind WWWT
  • Recognise modifiable risks for perinatal depressive, anxiety and adjustment disorders
  • Implement evidence-informed strategies using e-mental health resources, to build skills and promote health adjustment among new parents.

Speaker Biographies

Professor Jane Fisher | Academic Clinical Psychologist

BSc (Hons), PhD, MAPS

Jean Hailes Professor of Women’s Health and Director Jean Hailes Research Unit, School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University.

Jane is an internationally renowned expert in the field of perinatal mental health. She is President of the International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health and Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council Expert Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Parenting.

Jane has been Consultant Clinical Psychologist to Masada Private Hospital Mother Baby Unit since 1996 and is an expert technical advisor to international agencies including the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund.

With her colleague Dr Heather Rowe, Jane developed the What Were We Thinking! program, a brief evidence-based program for the primary prevention of common mental disorders among first-time mothers. This program has been shown to be effective in reducing common mental health problems in new parents by two-thirds. WWWT can be offered in primary care health services. Trained health professionals can provide care informed by the WWWT principles, and facilitate seminars for small groups of parents and their first babies at about six-weeks postpartum. Online and smartphone platforms are also available.

Sue Doogan | Maternal and Child Health Nurse and Midwife

RN, RM, Grad Dip MCH, Calmbirth Educator

For over 20 years Sue has worked with families parenting their young children. She currently works as Team Leader for the Universal Maternal and Child Health Service on the Mornington Peninsula and in her private practice.

Sue has a particular interest in research and service development that supports families to build parenting confidence and skills. Sue is trained in the What Were We Thinking! program and supports new parents online as a What Were We Thinking! blog moderator.

Fiona Darling | Community Education Manager


Fiona is a social worker with experience working at the micro and macro level, including research and consultation around programs and activities for diverse population groups, and prevention and early intervention programs for children and families within vulnerable communities.

She has experience and knowledge of child and family health agencies and organisations across Australia and delivering communication and engagement strategies for these audiences.

Fiona provides oversight for the engagement and development of the What Were We Thinking!
e-mental health resources designed to assist new parents and the professionals working alongside them.

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La Trobe University, Brian Grogan Lecture Theatre

471 Benetook Ave

Mildura, Vic 3500


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