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Perinatal Mental Health support by people with lived experience at PANDA

This Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Action Week (8th – 14th November), PANDA is encouraging expecting and new parents to ‘Tell Someone Who Cares’ and reach out for support if they are struggling to find help or understand their experience.

• PANDA has seen more than double the number of new parents calling their Helpline for mental health support since the start of the pandemic • New data reveals that one in ten parents calling PANDA have babies under one month old • With this increased demand, people are calling for PANDA to increase its National Helpline operating hours to provide 24/7 mental health support • This Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Action Week, PANDA is encouraging those struggling with mental health to #TellSomeoneWhoCares and find a #TrustedPairOfHands

Sunday 8th November – In a year when Australians never felt more disconnected and anxious, new data from PANDA’s National Helpline reveals that the number of new parents calling the Helpline has more than doubled (113%) during the pandemic.

With it ‘taking a village to raise a child’, the data shows that calls from parents with very young babies increased more than forty times. This comes as calls from parents with babies who are just home from hospital have increased from just two per month at the start of the year to more than 80 per month, as a result of the pandemic.

Bringing a baby into the world is often looked at as a joyful experience, but for one in five expecting or new mums and one in ten expecting or new dads, the perinatal period is fraught with anxiety and depression.

New data from almost 50,000 expecting and new parents who have completed PANDA’s online mental health checklist, reveals that over half (53%) of new mums were upset about experiences that happened during their baby’s birth. This comes in a year where hospital visits were cut, and many fathers were unable to remain with their partner and new baby during the birth or immediately after.

While PANDA has been providing trusted specialist services and a caring ear for over 35 years, during COVID they were tested like never before, stepping up to meet the increased demand for mental health support via their National Helpline. This was made possible through generous temporary increased State and Commonwealth funding; however, PANDA knows more can be done to respond to community need.

Ellen is a PANDA community champion who volunteers to raise awareness and promote understanding and eliminate stigma surrounding peri and postnatal anxiety and depression. She joins us in this podcast to share her lived experience and great tips with how to support you and your family through Perinatal Anxiety and Depression. Ellen joins Natasha Ferre on this SST podcast to discuss what Perinatal Anxiety Depression is and how PANDA can support men and women.


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