Professor Anne Buist

Professor Anne Buist

Professor of Women’s Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.

Chief Investigator I

National Lead of the Beyond Blue National Postnatal Depression Program, and instrumental in developing a national approach to screening over 40,000 perinatal women and workforce training. The findings from this National Perinatal Depression Initiative made recommendations which were accepted by the Federal government and Australia-wide screening was implemented as a result.

Top 5 Publications in the last 5 years

  • Barnes D, Buist A. Understanding the mysteries of pregnancy denial. In Infanticide and Filicide: Foundation in Women’s Mental Health Forensics. G Wong & G Parnham (ed) APA publishing 30 December 2020.

Example of the International collaboration (USA and Canada) and the continued academic direction within a newer area of my clinical expertise (ie forensic perinatal psychiatry.)

  • Galbally M, Sved-Williams A, Kristianopoulis D, Mercuri K, Brown P, Buist A. Comparison of public Mother Baby Units in Australia: similarities, strengths and future recommendations. Australasian Psychiatry November 2018

Example of the results of the National Collaboration of Mother Baby units and how we are monitoring and evaluating clinical care to improve outcomes for women.

  • Galbally M, Bergink V, Vigod S, Buist A, Boyce P, Chandra P,Kohan R, Howard L. Breastfeeding and lithium; is breast always best? The Lancet May 3 2018 DOI:

A collaboration resulting from the links within Australia and Internationally through the Marce society.

  • Boyce, P., Buist, A. Management of bipolar disorder over the perinatal period. Australian Family Physician, December 2016; 45: 890-893

Example of keeping up to date with current literature in clinical perinatal psychiatry and the continuing education of general practitioner.

  • Di Florio A,…Buist,A…et al…Brody,S. The impact of education, country, race and ethnicity on the self report of postpartum depression using the EPDS. PsycholMed11.16

An example of the PACT International collaboration.

Career summary: CII Anne Buist, MBBS,MMed,MD,FRANZCP, is the Professor of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne department of psychiatry, Austin Health since 2006, and Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and Austin Health 1998-2006. Over the last 30 years she had devoted herself to the clinical care and research of women with perinatal mental illness, including training in Strange Situation Procedure (infant attachment), Adult Attachment Interview, and Circle of Security which form the basis for expert opinions to the Children’s Court and for Protective Services. In the last five years she has been director of the parent infant mental health initiative at the Austin and provided supervision and training for staff at the Austin and Northpark as well as broader training and supervision for protective services workers.

Contribution to field of research: The beyondblue national postnatal depression program which Professor Buist directed 2001-5 was responsible for screening over 40,000 perinatal women and provision of an Australia wide education program for women, their families and health professionals working in the perinatal area. As a result of findings from this study, the National perinatal depression initiative   2006-10 (which Professor Buist remained on as an advisor) made recommendations which were accepted by the Federal government and Australia wide screen implemented (ongoing) as a result.

Research support in last 5 years:

  • Clinical Decision Support Integrated with e-Screening for Postnatal Depression. (Milgrom, Hindell, Gemmill, Holt, Buist). Melbourne Academic Centre for Health Rapid Applied Research Translation Program. Grant MRF9100004-Project A12 July 19-June 21.This project aims to evaluate the implementation of an integrated e-screening and CDSS for postnatal depression hypothesizing it increases rates of connection to secondary services and treatment uptake compared to current practice.
  • The transmission of prenatal mental health to preschool emotional distress: examining pathways and intervention in the MPEWS study (CI MGalbally et al, AI ABuist) NHMRC 2016-19. This follows on from the Mercy Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing study funded by beyondblue (2012-15) on which I was also an AI.

Collaborations; Community engagement and participation:

  • International collaboration on PACT, a genetics project in PND
  • Collaboration with Professors Gamble, Fenwick and Creedy at Griffith university on several NHMRC projects looking at childbirth fear/support
  • Australia wide National Mother Baby Unit Collaboration (see publications)
  • Long term collaboration with PIRI and Professor Milgrom including beyondblue program of which she was the Victorian Director, RCT on CBT versus medication in PND and ongoing talks and conference committees together
  • Regular lecturer to Mental Health Foundation, psychiatry registrars and GPs and psychiatrists around Australia on perinatal mental illness
  • Annual training course run with Royal Children’s Hospital and Berry St (last five years)
  • Volunteer teaching with Marce in India, Indonesia, and Mental Health Foundation of Ghana
  • Volunteer assessments of refugees (Manus/Nauru) for the Independent Doctor Network

Professional involvement: CII Buist is Past president of the Australian Marce society with yearly involvement (presenting/ organizing) in both local and International conferences (most recent introduction of key note speaker online Marce Iowa 2020)

Forensic section of the RANZCP with monthly meetings (guest speaker earlier in 2020)

International standing: including invitations to speak, international committees, collaborations;

  • International collaboration with PACT consortium (see publications)
  • Speaker at International Marce & World Association of Infant Mental Health conferences in UK, USA, France, Germany.
  • Invited speaker in Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China

Supervision and mentoring:

  • Supervisor of Megan Galbally PhD and Masters students
  • Mentor for RANZCP – two early career perinatal psychiatrists and one established ongoing
  • Registrar education and supervision

Peer review involvement: (including NHMRC, other granting organisations, manuscripts, editorial responsibilities); Advisory Board Archives Women’s Mental Health; Reviewer of multiple articles for an array of journals and PhD examiner.

Other contributions to NHMRC: Grant reviewer


  • Marce lecture 2015 (invited award lecture)
  • Organon Travelling Fellowship & AMA Women’s Health Award (1999).
  • Austin Women’s Health Award 2020