Increased Helpline support for mums and dads struggling with becoming a parent
PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia operates a National Helpline to support women, men and their families affected by perinatal anxiety and depression. The Helpline has recently increased its operating hours by 50% thanks to additional funding from the Australian Government. It is now available from 9am-7.30pm Monday to Friday.
The National Helpline provides a safe and confidential space for anyone struggling with the challenges of becoming a new parent. PANDA’s highly trained and compassionate counsellors help callers work through their challenges by talking openly and honestly about their thoughts, feelings and experiences.
As many as 1 in 5 expecting or new mums and 1 in 10 expecting or new dads will experience perinatal anxiety or depression. For many of those struggling, calling the PANDA National Helpline is their first step on the road to recovery.
The sooner people struggling with perinatal anxiety or depression seek support, the more quickly they can recover. However there is still a great lack of understanding in the Australian community about the signs and symptoms of the illness, and where to go to seek support. Many of those who do recognise that they are struggling delay confiding in loved ones or seeking treatment due to feelings of shame or perceived failings as a parent.
Signs and symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression can include constant sadness or crying; panic attacks; persistent, generalised worry; sleep problems unrelated to the baby’s needs; lethargy; loss of confidence and self-esteem; and withdrawal from friends and family.
If these symptoms last for more than two weeks and negatively affect an expecting or new parent’s ability to live a normal life then it’s time to seek support.
PANDA National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline 1300 726 306 (9am – 7.30pm Mon – Fri AEST/AEDT)