Professor Anne Buist

The Think-Tank seminar series

Childhood Trauma and Perinatal Mental Illness


Professor Anne Buist, University of Melbourne, Australia

Anne Buist, MBBS,MMed,MD,FRANZCP, is the Professor/Director of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, Austin Health and Northpark private hospital. She is responsible for two inpatient mother-baby units, with day programs and outpatient care covering women in North East Victoria (approx 20,000 births/per year). She runs a registrar training program in women’s mental health, which includes mother-infant relationships and the introduction of innovative interventions to improve child outcomes.  Professor Buist received a four million dollar grant and led the beyondblue postnatal depression program 2001-5, screening over 40,000 women across Australia including the outback, CALD and indigenous women. The aim of this project was to demonstrate acceptability and feasibility of routine screening in order to improve mental health care for all mothers and through doing so improve their long term mental health and reduce the risk of their children having educational, developmental and emotional delays and their own mental health issues as adults; recommendations from this study have been accepted by the Federal government and are being implemented across Australia.

Date and Time

12:00 - 13:00, 8 April 2013


Childhood trauma has long been recognised as a risk factor for the development of mental illness later in life. In more recent years attention has focused on perinatal depression and anxiety and maternal risk factors, not just for the development of these disorders, but for parenting , attachment problems and a mechanism for intergenerational transmission of mental ill health. The author will draw on research including her own long term follow up study and clinical material from over twenty years of running mother baby units to look at the intergenerational effects and ways to improve the outcomes for both mother and child.