M-HELP: Mental Health and Early Loss of a Pregnancy

Welcome to the website of the M-HELP project. M-HELP is a research project led and co-funded by the University of Melbourne, with additional support from the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation and the Frances Perry House.

Background and Vision

Approximately one in four confirmed pregnancies ends in miscarriage. In Australia, over 103,000 pregnancies are lost before 20 weeks gestation, 80% in the first trimester. Past research has shown that women frequently experience significant psychological distress, trauma and grief as a result of miscarriage, which can last weeks, months or even years. Clinically significant depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are also not uncommon. Unfortunately, because of the high frequency of miscarriage and because it can be easily managed medically (making it a “routine procedure”), the adverse mental health impacts that frequently result for both women and partners are all too often overlooked or unacknowledged by healthcare providers and among people’s social networks.

The vision of M-HELP is to investigate how best to support women and partners experiencing miscarriage, as well as their healthcare providers, and to supplement and improve the services currently available at Frances Perry House (FPH) by providing guidance around the mental health care and support needs of women and their partners. In addition, we aim to support the staff involved with professional development specifically centred around support care for miscarriage, and develop practical tools to assist them in delivering this care to patients.

Thank you, and please don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions or feedback.

With warm regards,

The M-HELP team.