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Gidget Foundation Australia urges parents to start talking this PNDA Week, 12 – 18 November 2017

News

Gidget Foundation Australia urges all Australians, especially new and expectant parents, to Start Talking this November in an effort to break down the stigma surrounding perinatal depression and anxiety. This call to action coincides with Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Week (PNDA Week), 12 – 18 November, which aims to drive awareness of an illness that affects around 100,000 Australians every year.

The Gidget Foundation is a national not for profit organisation offering free support services to families suffering emotional distress throughout pregnancy and the early stages of parenting. The Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness and knowledge of the importance of emotional wellbeing as well as providing treatment services.

Father of five, Obstetrician, and Chairman of Gidget Foundation Australia, Dr Vijay Roach, firmly believes a major step in breaking the stigma surrounding PNDA is to begin a conversation and Start Talking.

“A new baby brings joy along with challenges. Our community needs to send a message of kindness and compassion to pregnant women and new parents, supporting them to acknowledge their emotional health and encouraging them to seek help when they are feeling anxious or down,” Dr Roach said.

Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO is a strong supporter of the Gidget Foundation and commends its goal of educating the community about PNDA.

 “Gidget Foundation Australia is a wonderful organisation that is helping to further the goal of breaking down these stigmas associated with mental illness – particularly for families suffering emotional distress during pregnancy and early parenting,” Turnbull said.

 “Their education programs for health professionals and the community more broadly in learning about anxiety and depression are invaluable in promoting perseverance, courage and recovery. One in five expectant and new mothers and one in six new fathers will experience perinatal anxiety and depression, and every life lost because of this illness is one too many.”

While much of the focus is often placed on the health of the child during pregnancy, and after birth, it is equally important that, as a community, we address the emotional wellbeing of the parents as well. During PNDA Week, the Gidget Foundation strongly encourages the community to reach out to loved ones and ask a simple question.

Chloe Shorten reflected on the Foundation’s message and said: “Too many people still don’t ask for help. Too many people still suffer in silence. For all we’ve done, for how far we’ve come, there is still a lingering stigma. And that’s why it’s so important that we keep talking.

 “The more people know about the importance of emotional wellbeing for expecting and new mothers – the better. The more people know about the support that’s available – the better. And the more people know they aren’t alone – the better. The conversations we are having this week are part of that.”

‘Gidget’ was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who took her own life while suffering postnatal depression. She hid her suffering  from even her loving family and friends. They established the Gidget Foundation in her memory, determined that what happened to Gidget would not happen to others.

Today, the Gidget Foundation assists thousands of expectant parents and their families each year.

CEO of Gidget Foundation Australia, Arabella Gibson, said: “The Foundation provides free psychological counselling services face to face at Gidget House, as well as the Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Screening Program for pregnant women in hospitals. The Foundation also trains health professionals, supports research, develops resources and has established workplace awareness programs.”

“If you or anyone else you know needs help, please contact Gidget Foundation Australia. Ph: 1300 851 758 or E: [email protected] or W: www.gidgetfoundation.org.au

 

 

‘Gidget’ was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who took her own life while suffering postnatal depression. She hid her suffering  from even her loving family and friends. They established the Gidget Foundation in her memory, determined that what happened to Gidget would not happen to others.

 

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