Dr Heather O'Mahen
Associate Professor in Perinatal Clinical Psychology


 Orcid ID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3458-430X

Prof. O'Mahen is a Research Clinical Psychologist. She completed her PhD at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia (USA), an APA accredited program and undertook a clinical postdoctoral fellowship in perinatal psychology at the University of Michigan, Department of Psychiatry (APA accredited).  From 2005-2007 Prof. O'Mahen worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. From 2005-2009 she was an adjunct research investigator at the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry. She joined the Mood Disorders Centre (MDC) and Psychology Department at the University of Exeter in 2007. From 2012 to April 2013 Prof. O'Mahen worked in the NHS at the Haldon Unit as an Academic Psychologist. 


Prof. O'Mahen is an executive member of the BPS Perinatal Faculty and a NICE - Expert Adviser for the Centre for Clinical Practice. Prof. O'Mahen was a member of the Guidelines Development Group (GDG) for the 2014 NICE revised Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health Guidelines, the Perinatal Access and Waiting Time Expert Reference Group (ERG), the Department of Health Perinatal Quality Standards ERG, and the Perinatal Outcomes ERG. She is a member of the Perinatal CRG, and co-leads the research sub-group with Dr. Giles Berrisford. Together with colleagues from the University of Liverpool and the University of Exeter's CEDAR group, Prof. O'Mahen is leading the national Health Education England funded perinatal clinical psychology training programme. Prof. O'Mahen is also, alongside Dr. Sarah Healy, leading the development of the IAPT perinatal competency, curriculum, and training framework, and the revision of the Perinatal Positive Practice Guide.  Professor O'Mahen regularly provides training in psychological treatments for Perinatal Mental Health, including online clinician training through the FutureLearn Platform.  


Dr. O'Mahen worked with Elizabeth Van der Beugel on an artist-in-residency project around women's identities as they encounter mental health problems during pregnancy and postnatally. Please see the website for further details: http://www.artsandcultureexeter.co.uk/elizabeth-van-der-beugel


Prof. O'Mahen and Netmums.com have worked together with women who have suffered from postnatal depression to develop and test an online intervention for postnatal depression. The intervention has been tested both in a self-help and guided self-help format. The intervention is freely available to the public and health care professionals at this link: http://www.netmums.com/parenting-support/depression-and-anxiety/netmums-helping-with-depression-course.

Prof. O'Mahen and Becky Hopley have translated this treatment into guided self-help versions appropriate for IAPT. Both clinician and therapist versions are available here: http://psychology.exeter.ac.uk/pmh/

Online training for clinicians in these formats is available here: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/guided-self-help-for-postnatal-depression




Contact details

Internal tel4651
Tel+44 (0) 1392 724651
AddressWashington Singer Laboratories
University of Exeter
Perry Road
Prince of Wales Road

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