?

North Auckland > Public Hospital Services > Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand Waitematā >

Maternal Mental Health Service | Waitematā | Te Whatu Ora

Public Service, Mental Health, Maternity, Mental Health & Addictions

Today

8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Description

Formerly Waitematā DHB Maternal Mental Health Service

Maternal Mental Health is a small specialist mental health tertiary service that provides care to women who are pregnant or have a baby under 12 months of age. The woman will be experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues related to the pregnancy, childbirth and/or the adjustment to parenting.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental illness is a clinically significant behaviour or psychological (to do with the mind) disorder that is associated with distress or disability. It is not just the way someone responds to a particular event nor is it limited to the way a person interacts with society.

A mental illness can continuously or intermittently (occasionally) affect our capacity for speech, language, mood, affect, thoughts, perceptions, insight, judgement, cognition (understanding) and volition (ability to make choices). It can limit our ability to function as society would normally expect of us and can put us and others at risk.

Mental illness is therefore, a broad term that covers problems ranging from minor to severe disorders.

Staff

Who is a Psychiatrist?

A ‘psychiatrist’ is a doctor who, after qualifying as a medical doctor, receives further training and develops the expertise to become a ‘specialist’ in identifying symptoms of, and diagnosing and treating, mental illnesses. You may have been referred to a psychiatrist if your doctor feels you need specialist help.

Referral Expectations

Referrals to this service are through the respective adult community mental health team in the area  in which the woman resides.

Referrals are screened with consideration given to level of risk, the presence of perinatal stressors and attachment / bonding difficulties. The degree to which primary and secondary health has been trialed is also reviewed e.g. has the woman been given an adequate amount of time for medication to be of benefit? Has the woman been referred to community supports?

Hours

8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Mon – Fri 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

There is a Duty Clinician available for urgent calls via our main office - Ph (09) 488 4634

Afterhours and weekends please contact the mental health acute/crisis team via North Shore Hospital Ph (09) 486 8900 or Freephone 0800 80 93 42

Common Conditions

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that affects about 1% of the general population. It is a complex illness characterised by ‘psychosis’, a word used to describe disorder of thoughts (e.g. delusions - false beliefs held in spite of evidence that they are not real), perceptions (e.g. hallucinations - seeing, hearing or feeling things which are not there), disorganised speech and grossly disorganised behaviour, which are not experienced by others and which are not seen as abnormal by the sufferer. These four symptoms are often referred to as the ‘Positive Symptoms’ of schizophrenia because they are the result of the disease process. The fifth group of symptoms: withdrawal, decreased ability to feel pleasure, lack of energy, and flat affect (facial and vocal expression), are referred to as ‘Negative Symptoms' because they represent a loss of normal functions. Schizophrenia affects different people in different ways. Some people may experience only a few short episodes and then fully recover. For others it lasts throughout their lives and needs to be treated like any other physical illness such as asthma or diabetes, e.g. long-term treatment with medication. It is important that schizophrenia is treated as soon as it is diagnosed by a psychiatrist to prevent long-term disability and loss of function. Treatment Schizophrenia may be treated using a number of different approaches: Use of antipsychotic medication Psychosocial education programs e.g. education, support, counselling and assistance to return to job/studies/performing daily tasks Ongoing support e.g. housing, monitoring of treatment, support groups.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that affects about 1% of the general population. It is a complex illness characterised by ‘psychosis’, a word used to describe disorder of thoughts (e.g. delusions - false beliefs held in spite of evidence that they are not real), perceptions (e.g. hallucinations - seeing, hearing or feeling things which are not there), disorganised speech and grossly disorganised behaviour, which are not experienced by others and which are not seen as abnormal by the sufferer. These four symptoms are often referred to as the ‘Positive Symptoms’ of schizophrenia because they are the result of the disease process.
 
The fifth group of symptoms: withdrawal, decreased ability to feel pleasure, lack of energy, and flat affect (facial and vocal expression), are referred to as ‘Negative Symptoms' because they represent a loss of normal functions.
 
Schizophrenia affects different people in different ways. Some people may experience only a few short episodes and then fully recover.  For others it lasts throughout their lives and needs to be treated like any other physical illness such as asthma or diabetes, e.g. long-term treatment with medication.
 
It is important that schizophrenia is treated as soon as it is diagnosed by a psychiatrist to prevent long-term disability and loss of function.
 
Treatment
Schizophrenia may be treated using a number of different approaches:
  • Use of antipsychotic medication
  • Psychosocial education programs e.g. education, support, counselling and assistance to return to job/studies/performing daily tasks
  • Ongoing support e.g. housing, monitoring of treatment, support groups.
Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression

This is a mood disorder in which both depressive (persistent low mood) and manic (elevated or high mood) episodes are experienced. It is usually a recurring (i.e. keeps coming back) disorder that can cause a lot of havoc in all aspects of a person’s life. People with this disorder will experience periods of extreme mood changes but also periods of stable mood during which they may be able to return to everyday routines. These changes of mood can be very extreme and occur for no apparent reason. Different people will experience this disorder in different ways; some may have few episodes, others many, and symptoms may vary from mild to severe. When severely depressed or elevated, a person can become ‘psychotic’ i.e. lose touch with reality. Treatment Usually by medication (antidepressants if depressed and mood stabilisers if depressed and manic) A combination of counselling and psychotherapy (‘talking therapy’) may hasten recovery Hospitalisation may be required for those who are very unwell and are posing a risk to themselves or to others.

This is a mood disorder in which both depressive (persistent low mood) and manic (elevated or high mood) episodes are experienced. It is usually a recurring (i.e. keeps coming back) disorder that can cause a lot of havoc in all aspects of a person’s life. People with this disorder will experience periods of extreme mood changes but also periods of stable mood during which they may be able to return to everyday routines.
 
These changes of mood can be very extreme and occur for no apparent reason. Different people will experience this disorder in different ways; some may have few episodes, others many, and symptoms may vary from mild to severe. When severely depressed or elevated, a person can become ‘psychotic’ i.e. lose touch with reality.
 
Treatment
  • Usually by medication (antidepressants if depressed and mood stabilisers if depressed and manic)
  • A combination of counselling and psychotherapy (‘talking therapy’) may hasten recovery
  • Hospitalisation may be required for those who are very unwell and are posing a risk to themselves or to others.
Depression

Depression is a mood disorder. Emotional states like sadness, ‘feeling blue’ or tearfulness are part of normal human experience. Clinical depression is called Major Depression and is characterised by the presence for at least two weeks of symptoms such as depressed mood, diminished interest and pleasure in most activities, change in appetite and weight (these can be increased or decreased) sleep disturbance, fatigue, bodily symptoms (headache, backache etc) poor concentration, feelings of anxiousness, worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt, and suicidal ideation. Depression is a common disorder and about 10-20 % of the population in New Zealand will suffer from depression during their lifetime. Treatment Once depression has been diagnosed by your GP/Psychiatrist, it can be effectively treated by: Antidepressant medication Psychological interventions e.g. counselling (various types) and psychotherapy (talking therapy which is of various types).

Depression is a mood disorder. Emotional states like sadness, ‘feeling blue’ or tearfulness are part of normal human experience. Clinical depression is called Major Depression and is characterised by the presence for at least two weeks of symptoms such as depressed mood, diminished interest and pleasure in most activities, change in appetite and weight (these can be increased or decreased) sleep disturbance, fatigue, bodily symptoms (headache, backache etc) poor concentration, feelings of anxiousness, worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt, and suicidal ideation.
 
Depression is a common disorder and about 10-20 % of the population in New Zealand will suffer from depression during their lifetime. 
 
Treatment
Once depression has been diagnosed by your GP/Psychiatrist, it can be effectively treated by:
  • Antidepressant medication
  • Psychological interventions e.g. counselling (various types) and psychotherapy (talking therapy which is of various types).
 
Anxiety Disorders

We all feel some anxiety at some time or other. Anxiety may serve as an alerting signal, warning us of external /internal threats and consequently acting as a prompt to take appropriate action. When anxiety is very severe and present even when there is no threat of any kind, then it interferes with our functioning and can become an illness. In this circumstance, anxiety becomes a disorder characterised by an unpleasant emotion with feelings of fear, threat and impending danger and can be associated with numerous bodily symptoms like breathlessness, trembling, tightness in throat, dry mouth, racing heart and nausea/vomiting. There are varieties of anxiety disorders like panic attacks, phobias (unhealthy fear of something), agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), social anxiety, post-traumatic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Anxiety can often be associated with a depressive episode. Anxiety disorders are very common and if unrecognised and untreated, can cause severe disability. Treatment Self help: learning techniques like relaxation, distraction and education Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Medication.

We all feel some anxiety at some time or other. Anxiety may serve as an alerting signal, warning us of external /internal threats and consequently acting as a prompt to take appropriate action.
 
When anxiety is very severe and present even when there is no threat of any kind, then it interferes with our functioning and can become an illness. In this circumstance, anxiety becomes a disorder characterised by an unpleasant emotion with feelings of fear, threat and impending danger and can be associated with numerous bodily symptoms like breathlessness, trembling, tightness in throat, dry mouth, racing heart and nausea/vomiting.
 
There are varieties of anxiety disorders like panic attacks, phobias (unhealthy fear of something), agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), social anxiety, post-traumatic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Anxiety can often be associated with a depressive episode.
 
Anxiety disorders are very common and if unrecognised and untreated, can cause severe disability.
 
Treatment
  • Self help: learning techniques like relaxation, distraction and education
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Medication.
Psychosis

Programmes

Maternal Mental Health Service

Maternal Mental Health is a small specialist mental health tertiary service that provides care to women who are pregnant or have a baby under 12 months of age. The woman will be experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues related to the pregnancy, childbirth and/or the adjustment to parenting.

Programme Areas

Mental health, Maternal & infant - mental health & addictions

Programme Type

Maternal mental health – clinical teams

Regions

North Auckland, West Auckland

Age Groups

Adult / Pakeke

Referral Types

GP, DHB clinical services

Referral Process

Referrals to this service are through the respective adult community mental health team in the area  in which the woman resides.

Referrals are directed to the Referrals Management Team located within the Adult Community Mental Health Service, according to the woman’s domicile address (Rodney, West or North).

It is recommended that pregnant women with a history of bipolar, schizophrenia, or psychosis, although currently well, are made known to the service.

A pre-conception assessment can be offered to women who have experienced a serious mental illness e.g. bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia.

Referrals from other secondary mental health service providers i.e. Adult Community Mental Health teams, Psychiatric Liaison and psychiatrists working in private practice, may contact Maternal Mental Health directly.

A phone consultation is offered to GPs. Our psychiatrists have specialist knowledge on safe medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Description

Maternal Mental Health is a small specialist mental health tertiary service that provides care to women who are pregnant or have a baby under 12 months of age. The woman will be experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues related to the pregnancy, childbirth and/or the adjustment to parenting.

Document Downloads

Travel Directions

For Directions to North Shore office

124A Shakespeare Road, located within the Marinoto Building (see map)

 

For Directions to the Waitakere Hospital office

Entrance A, Child Health Unit, Waitakere Hospital, Lincoln Road, Henderson (see map)

Get directions

Parking

This is free parking for service users outside the Shakespeare Road office.

Contact Details

North Shore Hospital

North Auckland

8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

E-mail - General enquiries only : MaternalMHS@waitematadhb.govt.nz

For referrals or other clinical enquiries please contact  the appropriate  team as below.

Main Office:
124a Shakespeare Road
Takapuna
North Shore City

The service has an office at Waitakere Hospital in the Child Health Unit.
Women can be assessed and seen at venues convenient to them e.g. WDHB facilities, home, community setting.

Information about this location

View on Google Maps

Get directions

Street Address

Main Office:
124a Shakespeare Road
Takapuna
North Shore City

The service has an office at Waitakere Hospital in the Child Health Unit.
Women can be assessed and seen at venues convenient to them e.g. WDHB facilities, home, community setting.

Postal Address

Maternal Mental Health
Private Bag 93503
Takapuna
Auckland 0620

This page was last updated at 1:07PM on July 19, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Maternal Mental Health Service | Waitematā | Te Whatu Ora.