Trials Open for Recruitment

Welcome to Beating the Blues before Birth (BBB) – A study for depression in pregnancy.

Are you pregnant and feeling low? You have taken a positive step towards improving your mood and managing the demands of pregnancy.

The Parent-Infant Research Institute at Austin Health is conducting a government-supported study. Taking part in this study will provide you with a free comprehensive telephone assessment with a psychologist to understand how you are feeling. If the BBB study is right for you, we will either connect you with your GP for management, or offer you free psychological treatment. As BBB is a research study, the selection of treatment path will be randomly made. Throughout the study, you will be asked to complete a couple of questionnaires, and will be reimbursed for your time completing them. The aim of the study is to evaluate the benefits of evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for depression in pregnancy, for both mother and baby.

Are you a clinician wanting to refer your patient to the study? Please click here to complete the referral form.

Trials Open for Recruitment


Learn more about Beating the Blues before Birth.

You will receive a clinical assessment and 8 free sessions of CBT delivered by a psychologist via telehealth (to learn more about our evidence-based treatment please read below).


You will receive a clinical assessment with a psychologist and will be encouraged to see your GP and/or other health professionals for best-care management.

You will be randomly allocated to one of the two study groups mentioned above (i.e., CBT or referral to your GP/another health professional). As this is a research project you will not be able to choose which group you will allocated to. Participation in both groups is highly valuable for successfully conducting the study.

As this study is designed to specifically address depression, we have some guidelines about who can take part. After the study we would hope to offer this program more widely to those who need it. The study is suitable for women who are:

  • experiencing depression (based on our clinical assessment)
  • less than 30 weeks pregnant
  • over 18 years of age
  • fluent in English
  • giving permission to disclose the results of the clinical assessment with their health professional (i.e., GP, midwife or obstetrician)

Who is the study not suitable for?

As this is a structured psychological treatment program for depression it has some limitations in the type of care it is able to provide. Unfortunately, this study is not for you if you are currently:

  • receiving medication for your depression and anxiety
  • receiving psychological treatment
  • feeling suicidal
  • experiencing family or domestic violence and are not feeling safe at home
  • relying heavily drugs or alcohol to cope
  • diagnosed with bipolar or other serious psychiatric disorders

Other options may be more suitable for women who are not able to be included in this research study at present. We have listed some alternative supports and encourage you to seek help, click here.

You will be contacted by the project manager to book in a telephone assessment with the study psychologist to determine whether the study is suitable for you. During the telephone assessment you will be asked some questions about your mood and mental health.

You will be asked to complete questionnaires at 4 time points with the last follow-up carried out at 2 years after your child is born as we will also be following on your child’s development. You will receive $20 for every time you complete these questionnaires.

The experience of perinatal anxiety and depression can significantly affect our emotional wellbeing and prevent us from doing the things we want to do. It can affect any new or expecting parent and can occur any time during your pregnancy. Reaching out for support at this time can feeling challenging.

The Parent-Infant Research Institute at Austin Health is conducting a government-supported study to evaluate the benefits of psychological treatment for depression in pregnancy, for both mother and baby.

Everyone experiences perinatal anxiety and depression differently. The best way for you to start feeling better will depend on your own experiences, the symptoms you are feeling and how strongly you feel them. The one thing that is common for all parents experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression is that the sooner you seek support, the sooner you can start to feel better.

Share our BBB Poster

To help spread the word about this important study, download and share our PDF poster.

Trials Open for Recruitment
Trials Open for Recruitment

Welcome to the DadBooster Study

An online program designed to help new dads recover from depression.

Becoming a dad doesn’t happen overnight and doesn’t happen without its challenges. Some dads have more difficulties than others as they make the transition to parenthood. Many dads struggle and feel very overwhelmed, and about 10% become depressed. Dads have spoken to us about the mix of feelings they have had as they plan for and take home their new baby on their journey to parenthood.

The Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) has been working with Aussie dads to design an online treatment program called DadBooster, a world-first program for dads who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression. PIRI is conducting a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the DadBooster program and is looking for 50 dads to help out.

Our DadBooster study is open for recruitment.