November 8 – 14 is PANDA week – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Week to raise awareness of perinatal anxiety and depression.
Pregnancy and early parenthood is an exciting time. But it can also be overwhelming and anxious. Especially for first time parents. It can be hard to recognise that something is wrong and it takes courage to seek help. Community expectations and stigma can make it difficult to acknowledge that you are struggling and seek the support you need.
Perinatal mental illnesses like anxiety and depression are common and can be serious. One in five expecting or new mothers and one in ten expecting or new fathers will experience anxiety and/or depression, affecting around 100,000 families across Australia every year.
Left untreated, perinatal mental illness can have long-lasting impacts on parents, partners, baby and the rest of the family. The key to getting help is being able to recognise that something is wrong and being brave enough to ask for help.
Recently, our mental health clinicians in the South West received training to upskill in this important area. Early intervention is important to get support to take the first steps to recovery. That’s the best outcome for you as well as your baby and partner.
We are working closely with the Radiance Network SW who provide free face to face support for families experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression. The GP down south service is available to eligible people with a Health Care Card or experiencing financial difficulty.
If you need help or more information, please ask your GP for a referral or head to the PANDA website for more information.
PANDA’s National Perinatal Mental Health Helpline 1300 726 306 9am – 7.30pm Mon – Friday (AEST).
GP down south is an exemplary not-for-profit community organisation. We have been providing health and wellbeing services in the Peel regions and the South West of WA since 1994.