The Marcé Society takes its name from Louis Victor Marcé who published the first substantial treatise on mental illness in pregnancy and the puerperium in 1858.
The Society was formed in the UK in 1980 and has a growing international membership. The formation of the Australasian Chapter of the Marcé in 1995 was a reflection of the growing commitment and enthusiasm within Australasia towards these issues.
The Marcé Society is multi-disciplinary and provides a forum for exchange of information and ideas between professionals concerned with the welfare of women and their families around the time of childbirth.
Increasingly, liaison between consumers/carers and health professionals is becoming a focus for the Society, as is the childbirth-related mental health of the Indigenous Peoples of Australia and New Zealand.
Traditionally, the main focus has been on mental illness related to childbearing. However, the interests of Australasian members often encompass broader areas including the maternal-infant relationship, attachment theory, the psycho-biology of pregnancy, antenatal and postnatal education, psycho-social aspects of obstetrics, perinatal bereavement and all aspects of mental health of women and their families during pregnancy and the postnatal period.
Close collaboration between clinicians and researchers is an important priority of the Australasian Chapter.
The Society also actively seeks to bring issues of mental health and illness related to childbearing into greater public awareness. This objective is achieved by educational activities, campaigning for better resource allocation (for both research and services) and through raising issues of policy with a variety of statutory bodies.