This week is PANDA Week running from 10-16 November, which raises awareness of perinatal anxiety and depression.
Perinatal (the period from the conception of a child through to the first year after birth) anxiety and depression is incredibly serious, left untreated the consequences can be devastating. Some people are surprised to learn how common an illness it is.
Up to one in five expecting or new mothers and one in ten expecting or new fathers will experience it. The illness affects around 100,000 families across Australia every year. Left untreated, perinatal anxiety and depression can have a devastating impact on parents, partners, baby and the rest of the family. In the worst cases, lives can even be put at risk.
The sooner people seek support, the sooner they can start feeling better.
It’s important for expecting and new parents who are worried about their emotional and mental wellbeing to seek support. They can speak with a trusted health professional such as a doctor or family health nurse, or call PANDA’s free National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline.
PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline 1300 726 306 is available 9am – 7.30pm Mon – Fri (AEST/AEDT).
Health professionals can find resources for patients experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety on the PANDA website, including making effective referrals, encouraging patient disclosure and brochures and posters that can be displayed in GP clinics.
Workplace toolkits are also being introduced to assist managers and HR professionals to support the mental health of their staff members who are expecting a baby, on parental leave or returning to work after having a baby. These resources have been developed in collaboration with parents who have experienced perinatal mental illness.
For more important and up-to-date information about perinatal anxiety and depression and postnatal psychosis visit PANDA’s websites: