Mother, Daughter and Child's Daughter

Women and Newborn Health Service

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King Edward Memorial Hospital

Department of Psychological Medicine

Contact Information

Address Level 1, Agnes Walsh House,
369 Bagot Road
Subiaco WA 6008
Phone (08) 6458 1521
Fax (08) 6458 1111

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About Us

The Department of Psychological Medicine at King Edward Memorial Hospital is a women’s mental health service that specialises in the assessment and treatment of women’s mental health concerns related to or impacting on their gynaecological and/or obstetric medical conditions.

KEMH patients can access the service in the six months following:

  • their hospital stay at KEMH
  • the birth of their baby at KEMH
  • their most recent hospital clinic appointment

This is extended to 12 months following a baby’s birth, if the baby was hospitalised in the KEMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Ward 6B at PMH. Mothers who do not deliver at KEMH cannot access this service unless their baby was a patient of the NICU at KEMH, or Ward 6B at PMH.

For information about other WA women’s community resources please call healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222 or click here .

Psychological Medicine is not a crisis service. If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide please contact:

Mental Health Emergency Services - 1300 555 788 Crisis Care - (08) 9223 1111
Samaritan Crisis Line - (08) 9381 5555 Youthline - (08) 9388 2500
Lifeline - 13 11 14 Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636

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What We Offer

Our team includes psychiatry, psychology and mental health nursing professionals who work with patients to provide consultation and treatment for mental health issues and help to develop strategies to cope better with the challenges being faced. This may include referral to and liaison with other health care providers to co-ordinate care and provide the best services. Our resources are limited compared to the demand for them and may be subject to waitlisting. Some patients may prefer to be referred to assistance in the community closer to home.

Treatment may include, individual or group therapy, medication, telephone follow-up, and/or referral to community services. These options are discussed with the person, including significant others where appropriate, keeping the person’s wishes, goals and values in mind.

Our friendly administrative and triage staff are often an important and helpful first point of contact for KEMH hospital staff and patients who are concerned about their mental health issues.

For more information about our service, please download our brochure here.

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Areas of Expertise and Interest

The Department of Psychological Medicine has expertise in the following women’s health areas:

  • Enhancing emotional health for women; prevention and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in the perinatal period.
  • Adolescent and young mothers' emotional health
  • Perinatal grief and loss
  • Gynaecological health, including chronic pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction
  • Adjustment to gynaecological cancers
  • Preconception assessment regarding management of psychotropic medications in pregnancy for women with complex mental health issues.
  • Partnering with KEMH antenatal services to provide co-ordinated mental health and obstetric care for women with serious mental health issues.
  • Provision of state-wide teleconference consultation to mental health providers and women with serious mental illness at preconception and during the perinatal period
  • Consultation and liaison services to Women and Newborn Drug and Alcohol Services, Neonatal Intensive Care Units at KEMH and PMH and Maternal Foetal Medicine Team.
  • Best practice research in the field of women’s mental health
  • Education in women’s mental health for health professionals

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Our Aims

The Psychological Medicine team is committed to:

  • Providing a planned, integrated and quality assessment, treatment and management for patients of KEMH whose medical condition is having an impact on their mental health, or whose pre-existing mental health issues may be impacting on their medical condition or pregnancy. Partners and families are encouraged to be involved as appropriate.
  • Liaising with medical staff, nursing staff and related professionals at KEMH to assist with care of patients who have mental health issues.
  • Providing quality state-wide consultation-liaison service in the area of women's and perinatal mental health within our resources.
  • Providing education and training to psychiatry registrars, post-graduate psychology students, medical students, nursing and health practitioners.
  • We also participate in research in keeping with our responsibilities as part of a tertiary teaching hospital and aim to improve patient outcomes.

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For Health Professionals

The Department of Psychological Medicine is a multidisciplinary team providing psychiatric, psychological and mental health nursing services to KEMH patients and consultancy to staff in relation to patients’ mental health care.

Our team consists of the following members:

  • Head of Department Consultant Psychiatrist: Dr Felice Watt
  • Associate Head of Department, Consultant Clinical Psychologist: Susanne Somerville
  • Consultant Psychiatry : Dr Matthew Coates, Dr Ray Binns
  • Clinical Psychologists: Janet Jones, Elizabeth Oxnam, Rosemary Hagan, Kellie Dedman, Kaye Mills , Michelle Wettinger, Orla Tyson, Shannon Byrne
  • Mental Health Nursing: Debbie Burrows, Ann-Marie Smyth
  • Administrative Assistant: Sandra Mendez
  • Clerical Officers: Lynsey Mills, Carol Ahearn

Plus a number of well qualified and experienced locum psychiatry consultants and registrars, medical officers and clinical psychologists, research staff, post graduate psychology trainees, and casual clerical officers.

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For Patients

You must be a patient of KEMH to access our services. KEMH patients can be referred by:

  • KEMH Medical and other clinical staff
  • GPs
  • Clinics
  • Wards of the hospital
  • Community services
  • Self referrals where there are known significant mental health risk factors can be discussed with our duty triage staff

Patient referrals are reviewed and responded to with a phone call from our Duty triage staff or letter offering an appointment for an initial assessment if the referral is appropriate to our services and the patient is accepting of the referral. This is the basis for developing recommendations for further treatment or management plans which may include referral to other appropriate services.

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For Staff

Our Department provides the hospital community with consultancy on a range of psychological/psychiatric issues such as:

  • Management of patients who have mental health conditions
  • Emergency response for patients requiring psychiatric risk assessment or placement under the Mental Health Act
  • Emotional care planning for complex patients and those requiring psychiatric nurse specials

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The Psychological Medicine Referral Form can be downloaded from the WNHS intranet by internal staff; click here for the referral form.

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Criteria and Referral Process

Inpatients can be referred to the Department when their medical condition is having a significant adverse impact on their mental health, or when there are pre-existing mental health problems that interface with their medical management. Staff wishing to refer should discuss the reasons for the referral with the patient and obtain the patient’s consent to be referred for to Psychological Medicine for assessment.

Referrals can be made by completing the Psychological Medicine Referral Form. If you are unsure about the referral, please contact 6458 1521 and discuss with our Inpatient duty triage officer.

Written referrals using the recommended referral form click here are required for all inpatient referrals. Obstetric referrals may be made by the midwife or medical staff member responsible for managing the patient's care. Non-obstetric patients require a referral from the treating medical clinician or their delegate. The referring clinician may telephone the department to notify of the impending referral. The written referral is faxed to the Department on 6458 1111 or sent through the internal mail if non urgent.

Emergency inpatient referrals (eg. acute risk to self or others, acute disturbance) are seen immediately or as soon as possible. Urgent Inpatient referrals (eg. high level of distress, high risk) are seen on the same day, or as soon as possible .

Efforts are made for same day review, if patients are due to be discharged.

Routine Inpatient referrals are seen on the day of referral (if possible) or on the next working day.

Weekend reviews of patients requiring discharge or urgent psychiatric review are conducted by ‘on-call’ psychiatry staff. This service is not for routine review of inpatients. Notification of admission and requirement for Psychological Medicine input should be directed to the normal weekday inpatient process. After Hours- Emergency inpatient referrals are directed to ‘on-call’ psychiatry via the hospital switchboard.

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Criteria and Referral Process

Outpatients are referred to the Department of Psychological Medicine KEMH by any of the Hospital Outpatient Clinics, Visiting Midwifery Service, General Practitioners, Community Mental Health services, Child Health Nurses, or (where appropriate) by family members or self-referral. Only patients of KEMH are eligible for services from the Department.

Referrals can be made on a recommended referral form click here or by letter (outlining the mental health concerns). A phone call to out -patient triage duty staff can be made to discuss referrals.

The Department of Psychological Medicine provides outpatient services to patients attending a range of Outpatient Clinics/Services at KEMH. These include the Antenatal Clinics (including the Diabetic and Adolescent Clinics and the Women and Newborn Drug and Alcohol Service (WANDAS), Family Birth Centre, Perinatal Loss Service, Neonatal Intensive Care Units (KEMH and 6B at PMH), various Gynaecology & Oncology Clinics, Pelvic Pain Clinic, Breastfeeding Centre, Menopause Clinic and Genetic Services. Patients can be seen whilst they are ongoing patients of the Hospital clinics and for up to six months post-discharge, where clinically appropriate. Extended service is provided for up to 12 months for those women who have had a baby that had a period of hospitalization in the NICU at KEMH and 6B at PMH.

Education and Training

To help us improve outcomes for women and families at KEMH and the broader community, we endeavour to share our expertise and educate others. We provide unique and valuable clinical training in workshop format, enabling the development of specialised psychological and psychiatric knowledge and expertise in understanding, assessing and treating women presenting with mental health problems.

Participants include staff from KEMH and other hospitals, community-mental health, alcohol and drug agencies, aboriginal and multicultural agencies, women’s health centres, Ngala, Department of Child Protection, university students, GP’s, private psychologists, mental health nurses and social workers.


Click here for the Department of Psychological Medicine training calendar
(under ‘Other KEMH training calendars).

(link to )

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