Mental health services for new parents – Melbourne

The Melbourne Clinic offers a specialised inpatient program to provide support and care to families experiencing challenges surrounding adjustment to parenthood in the first 12 months after birth.

This program offers support to new parents experiencing mental health challenges including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Adjusting to parenting
  • Other mental health conditions or concerns.

Our dedicated, secure unit provides an inpatient stay for parents and their non-toddling infants (less than 12 months).

The Parent Infant Program maintains a supportive and welcoming secure environment, with a focus on helping the parents set and achieve goals which work towards positive emotional and physical wellbeing.

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Please note that this program has been designed to focus on parent mental health needs, not challenges associated with infant sleep settling or feeding.

What does the Parent Infant Program involve?

The Parent Infant Program is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of Mental Health Nurses, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers. Inpatient admissions are overseen by an accredited Psychiatrist and are supported by a Paediatrician and/or General Practitioner.

The program offers a combination of therapeutic, evidence based psychoeducation and skills based groups, including mindfulness, communication skills, emotion regulation, distress management, parenting experience and relaxation to help promote recovery.

The program has been designed to help participants to:

  • Gain an understanding of their symptoms and the impact on wellbeing.
  • Develop skills to better manage and regulate emotions.
  • Promote attachment with the infant.
  • Foster positive relationships with support people and families.

For infant care information (sleep and settling, feeding and nutrition) the program treatment team will access the evidence based, best practice information supplied by the recognised services of Red Nose, Better Health Channel and Tweedle.

Who can attend the Parent Infant Program?

The program is open to new parents experiencing mental health challenges, and their non-toddling infants (up to 12 months). The program aims to align with all forms of diversity amongst families.    

Family accommodation at our Richmond-based facility

The Parent Infant Program (PIP) is a 6-bed unit, with parents having their own room with double bed and separate cot or crib for their infant. We understand the importance of a strong support network and encourage a partner, family member or other support person to visit, stay overnight and participate in the therapy. There will also be a dedicated play room for you and your infant.

The Melbourne Clinic is situated in the heart of Richmond, a short walk from the Yarra River and near-by to shops, parks, cafes and restaurants.

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How much does the program cost?

We understand that costs for admission to a private mental health facility and related charges can be complex, so please call us with any questions you have – we’re more than happy to help.

We’re recognised by all major private health funds that reimburse treatment costs.

How do I access this program?

To be admitted to The Melbourne Clinic, you’ll first need to speak to your GP or specialist for a referral to the Parent Infant Inpatient Program.

Referrals can be addressed generally to ‘Dear Doctor’ or directly by name to one of our accredited psychiatrists.

Beds are generally available for eligible patients. Admission to the Parent Infant Unit will require a referral from your GP or psychiatrist.

Please contact our Intake Team on 03 9420 9340 to discuss the referral and admission process.

Yes, our Parent Infant Unit consists of 6 single, private rooms with their own ensuite. Each room has a double bed, cot, changing table and bath for the infant.

We encourage additional support from a partner or support person during your stay. You may nominate a partner or support person to attend relevant program sessions with you. Our Parent Infant Unit is able to provide accommodation for your partner/support person overnight at an additional cost.

Meals will be provided for the admitted patient only. Families will have access to a shared kitchenette with tea/coffee making facilities, fridge and microwave to enable meal preparation for babies and partners.

Access to a shared lounge, dining area, infant play area and Wi-Fi is also available.

Although not mandatory, private health insuranceis recommended for admission. We’ll do a private health fund check before youare admitted or start the program. Depending on your level of cover we canestimate hospital charges, outline how much cover your fund offers, and informyou about any out-of-pocket costs you may need to pay.

Admission to the Parent Infant Unit is voluntary. The Melbourne Clinic is located in Richmond with easy walking to local parks, cafes and the Yarra River. Public transport is available outside The Melbourne Clinic with a short tram ride into Melbourne’s CBD.

Leave outside the hospital is determined by your treating psychiatrist and a discussion can be had between you and your treating psychiatrist upon admission to the unit.

The Nurse Unit Manager will be happy to discuss visitors and visiting hours with you upon admission.

For Parent:

  • Health fund/Medicare cards
  • Current Medications
  • Pyjamas/Nighties/dressing gown/slippers
  • Comfortable casual clothing and footwear
  • Your own toiletries
  • Tissues
  • Enough money for incidentals

For Baby:

  • Child health care record (green book)
  • Current medications
  • Bottle teats, bottlebrush, formula, feeding cup and spoon
  • Pram
  • Disposable nappies
  • Nappy change lotion, bath lotion or pure soap (if desired)
  • Dummy (optional)
  • Clothes for entire length of stay
  • Baby wraps
  • Toys (babies must use their own toys and cannot share)
  • Food and/or formula

Please do not bring valuables into the hospital as wecannot be held responsible for any items or belongings that are damaged or gomissing.

The Parent Infant Unit is a dedicated unit that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of parents and their infants less than 12 months of age. We provide a secure unit while offering a calm and welcoming environment for you to receive the care you need.

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