PANDA Training and Presentations

Why is it needed?

Health professionals have a key role in addressing the emotional and mental wellbeing of expecting and new parents. However, amongst those who call the PANDA National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline, few have disclosed their concerns to their GP, midwife or MCH nurse. The reasons are complex, but include a lack of confidence and knowledge amongst many health professionals of how best to encourage such disclosures in the limited time they often have with patients and clients.

PANDA training aims to address these obstacles, incorporating evidence base, learnings from the National Helpline, and the lived experience of our volunteers – who often accompany our staff to share their own story as part of training presentations.

What do we cover?

PANDA delivers training or presentations on many areas of knowledge and skill, including:

  • Perinatal anxiety and depression – prevalence, risk factors, impact
  • Tending to the emotional and mental wellbeing of expecting and new parents
  • Signs and symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression – what to listen and look for
  • Risk in the perinatal period – mental illness, family violence, AOD, suicide and risk to child
  • Lived experience stories and case studies – exploring obstacles to disclosure
  • How to create an environment that encourages disclosure
  • How to have difficult conversations with expecting and new parents
  • Perfectionism, shame and sense of ‘maternal failure’
  • Perinatal distress in fathers and non-birth mothers 
  • Recovery from perinatal anxiety and depression: interventions
  • How PANDA can support professionals/volunteers in this work.

PANDA training incorporates lectures and powerpoints, videos, lived experience stories, role-plays and observations, and discussion-based learning activities.
PANDA also offers workshops three times per year for professionals and volunteers working with expecting and new parents.

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Who can benefit from PANDA training?

Anyone working with expecting parents, parents and families in the perinatal period can benefit from PANDA training. PANDA regularly trains MCH staff and MCH Masters students, midwives and midwifery students, pharmacists, acute mental health teams, drug and alcohol workers, family support workers and social workers, counsellors and psychologists, playgroup and support group facilitators, allied health professionals and volunteers working in other organisations to support new parents (e.g. through in-home support, helplines and facilitating playgroups or support groups).

Feedback from recent sessions includes:

“I got a real insight into the journey many women have. Their stories will resonate with me and help me improve the way I do my job. Inspirational.” – midwife

“I was particularly struck by the importance of not colluding in minimisation by focusing on ‘practical strategies’ – how to explore the root cause of distress in a more complete way.” – MCH Nurse

“Interactive, accessible, informative and applicable to our service.” – family support worker

To request a PANDA training or presentation contact our Community Education and Training Coordinator Sarah Marlow in the national office on (03) 9926 9032 or , or fill in the online request form.

While PANDA has exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website, the information is made available on the basis that PANDA is not providing professional advice on a particular matter. This website is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.