Leading Community Change In Perinatal Mental Health

October 18, 2020

Perinatal Mental Health disorders are a highly prevalent, but little understood area of Mental Health.  In episode 4 ofWhat Leaders Know, I interviewed Mary Williams, CEO of Belmont PrivateHospital. In our conversation, Mary took us inside Belmont’s 10-bedMother and Baby, Perinatal Mental Health Unit.

In today’s episode, I round out leadership in the area of Perinatal Mental Health.  Ariane Beeston works with the founder of COPE, Dr Nicole Highet, to lead community change in this area.
Ariane is a former child protection psychologist, turned writer and mother-of-one. After experiencing postnatal psychosis, Ariane developed a passion for perinatal mental health and ensuring other women and families receive the support they need.

Ariane now combines her lived experience of perinatal mental health and professional insights in her work for COPE (Centre of Perinatal Excellence) and provides listeners with insights into the growing community support and resources available to women, men and families going through this experience.

In this conversation with Ariane you hear the power of leading social change, one share at a time. Ariane narrates her lived experience of Postnatal Psychosis across a range of media, and now via the WhatLeaders Know Podcast. 

Some great take insights: For those on leadership journeys:

1.Leadership doesn’t rely on the formality of a role - leadership shows up when our decisions and actions make a positive difference.

Ariane is clear about her purpose. She is influencing changes that are already making critical information and resources accessible to people navigating the perinatal journey.

2. The most effective tools of leadership are those that bring us to the problem we are trying to solve - and then provide a conduit to the solution. 

Ariane Beeston leverages online and social media, through her personal writings, blogs etc. to share her lived experience ofpostnatal psychosis.

Through her work with COPE, Ariane is shaping the way Mums going through perinatal mental health issues can access online information, support and resources to help them on their pathway to wellness.

3. Build on your strengths:  

Ariane brings her professional experience in psychology, her skills as an accomplished writer and communicator together withher lived experience of a perinatal mental health disorder together to lead change from a place of insight, experience and knowing.

By leveraging her strengths, Ariane is affecting change and dismantling myths about perinatal mental health.

4. Be authentic:

Leaders who have walked the walk, and who are prepared to be vulnerable and share their journey are the leaders who gain the trust of others.  When leading change in a space where people are particularly vulnerable, the shared, lived experience becomes very powerful.

Some great insights: For listeners with an interest in perinatal mental health:

Ariane shares personal insights into the lived experience of postnatal psychosis.

She touches on denial, debilitating symptoms, acceptance, treatment and support within a Perinatal Mother Baby Unit inSydney, and the journey to becoming a well mother and re-engaging with the world in new and different ways.

Insights about the gaps Ariane experienced in accessing information and resources within the community, and how, through her work with COPE, these gaps are being addressed.

Insights into what women experiencing perinatal mental health issues might experience, and the resources and help available in the community.

The breadth of information and support available now in the community to support women, men and families as they navigate the perinatal period.

The resources available through organisations such as COPE, have never been so accessible – following the link below to access these resources. 

In this conversation with Ariane you hear the power of leading social change, one share at a time. Ariane narrates her lived experience of Postnatal Psychosis across a range of media, and now via the WhatLeaders Know Podcast.  


Listeners will find show notes from this episode on my website:

What Leaders Know Website

The resources of COPE, including their links to a myriad of other perinatal mental health resources are available on their website:

Centre of Perinatal Excellence Website

COPE works closely with Mamatribe - a meetup community putting mums in touch with mums who live close by.

MamaTribe website

Belmont Private Hospital - Listen to What Leaders Know Episode 4 interview with CEO Mary Williams