This is Perinatal Mental Health Week.
It is a national week to raise awareness, inform and support those experiencing anxiety, depression and confusion that can come during and shortly after pregnancy.
The organisation PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia – created Perinatal Mental Health Week in 2005 to help the community and health professionals to better understand perinatal mental health.
This year’s theme is “Connection through Conversation.”
PANDA says honest and compassionate conversations about perinatal mental health are life changing.
“Whether you’re experiencing mental health challenges yourself, or if you’re concerned about a loved one we know that reaching out and talking about the way you’re feeling can be really hard. It can feel tricky to find the right words. You might be worried about the way the person you’re talking to will react, and there’s a lot of fear around getting it wrong,” PANDA says.
Each year over 100,000 Australian parents – one in five mums and one in 10 dads – experience perinatal anxiety and/or depression. A significant number of non-birth parents experience similar rates of mental illness.
Nationals Member for Myall Lakes, Tanya Thompson, said perinatal depression and anxiety conditions don’t discriminate and can surface without warning.
“At a time when there is usually great happiness, there can also be an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt.
“As a community we must work to destigmatise emotions associated with perinatal depression and anxiety and offer support to our neighbours, friends and loved ones mentally, physically, and emotionally,” Mrs Thompson said.
The transition into parenthood can be challenging. If you or someone you know needs support, help is available. You can visit panda.org.au or https://www.pmhweek.org.au/about-us for more information on perinatal mental health awareness.