‘On the inside, I was crumbling’: New regional support for perinatal depression

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

Across Australia up to one in five new mums and one in 10 new dads may experience symptoms of PNDA – which is almost 100,000 expectant and new parents each year.MUMS and dads in the bush have been given a leg-up onperinatal depression and anxiety with a free specialistcounselling videolink service to cut travel and expense in rural and remote areas.
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Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Mental HealthTanya Davies will today announce government’s $270,000investmentin Gidget Foundation Australia’s Start Talking program.

Mrs Davies said government’sfunding would help facilitate up to seven one-hour video call sessions per client with a trained psychologist, as part of the client’s GP-referred Mental Health Plan.

Perinatal Depression and Anxiety is a condition commonly experienced by women during pregnancy and the year following the birth of a baby.New fathers are also vulnerable to PNDA.

Across Australia up to one in five new mums and one in 10 new dads may experience symptoms of PNDA – which is almost 100,000 expectant and new parents each year.

One of those women was Gerringong-based Chelsea Pottenger, a former Division one USA college basketball athlete and top senior corporate professional.

She was hit hard with postnatal depression in 2015.

Chelsea Pottenger, Gerringong, and daughter Clara. Chelsea was hit hard by postnatal depression and axiety in 2015.

“I hid behind a veneer of always being perfectly groomed and telling my friends and family I was doing okay,” she said.

“I would smile when people said how beautiful my daughter was, as I looked on not recognising the child I held in my arms.

“I started experiencing more severe anxiety, sadness, episodes of crying and guilt of not ‘getting it’ as a new Mum.

I even tried to go back to work. I remember being at a business meeting, with my hair done, smartly dressed, pretending I had it all together, while on the inside I was crumbling.”

Mr Barilaro said families in remote areas don’t always have the same access to psychological counselling as those in the cities.

“Many parents are unaware of the risk of developing Perinatal Depression and Anxiety, so it is reassuring there are psychological counseling services available, if required, no matter where you live,” he said.

Family and friends established the Gidget Foundation in 2001, which has grown to assist thousands of expectant parents and their families each year. ‘Gidget’ was the nickname of a young mother who took her own life while suffering from unrecognised postnatal depression.

For more information please visit www.gidgetfoundation.org.au or call1300 851 758.

The Land

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