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“PANDA actually saved my life! Without their help dealing with my postnatal anxiety and depression I may not be here today.” – Catherine, WA

Three months after Catherine and her husband Dave brought their new baby boy home from hospital, Catherine was extremely anxious and on edge. It went far beyond the typical stresses of new parenthood, and was becoming terrifying.

“I was falling apart. I couldn’t think clearly, and had all sorts of scary thoughts going through my head. My husband tried to encourage me to go outside, go for a walk, breathe some fresh air and clear my head. I suddenly thought that this was my way out. It would be so easy to go outside, and pretend to my husband that everything was fine; and then I could run in front of a bus and then all this would go away. And once I had that thought, I couldn’t un-think it.”

Catherine was experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression, a serious and common illness that affects 100,000 Australian families every year. Untreated, it has serious and potentially long-lasting impacts on women, men and children and can even put lives at risk.

So we are launching a new Regular Monthly Giving campaign to support women like Catherine to receive appropriate treatment and recover more quickly. Can you help?

Every day on the PANDA National Helpline we hear stories about the struggles of new parents like Catherine who are living with perinatal anxiety and depression...Read More

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ABC Radio National 'I've just had a baby, why do I feel so bad?'


Becoming a new parent can be both a time of great joy and great fragility. Not just the care of a tiny vulnerable being, but having to adapt both mentally and emotionally to a whole new family and relationship dynamic.

PANDA's CEO Terri Smith and Community Champion Rebecca, speaks with ABC RN Life Matters about the signs and symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression.

Rebecca shares her feelings and fears after having her first baby, and hit affected her life.Capture.JPG

Full interview can be found on ABC RN's website >

Love can get complicated, even on Valentine’s Day


Over half of callers to PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline distressed by changes and challenges in their relationship with their partner.

All over Australia, couples are looking forward to celebrating their love for one another on Valentine’s Day. However, there’s also a more sombre side of love, romance and relationships.

“Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate romantic love,” says Terri Smith, CEO of PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia. “However it’s also a time to reflect that an illness like perinatal anxiety and depression can test the bonds of love, and can put real pressures on relationships.”

View full media release.

What happens if I don’t feel joy, peace and happiness during the holiday season?

Christmas and holiday periods come with a whole lot of expectation (a bit like early parenthood): family and friends, celebrating together, wishing the best for each other, sharing food, gifts, laughter and companionship. The reality is often nothing like this and the higher your expectations the more disappointment you might feel.

For those who are spending time with family, past hurts can return and old wounds open. For others, being immersed in apparent ‘joy’ can increase loneliness and isolation… with the pressure to ‘be happy’ contributing to anxiety.

If you do have commitments that you need to keep, it is worth asking the question: ”How can I best meet my obligations while also prioritising my own wellbeing?”. “How do I protect myself from unnecessary hurt?” and “What do we need as a family to limit stress and enjoy this time as we are? As a mum or dad you and your child’s wellbeing are directly linked. This could be the year you give yourself permission to do something different and create new memories and traditions that work for you.

If you would like to talk through some strategies for managing your mental health during this busy holiday period our Helpline will be open Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm, excluding public holidays.

Wishing you a peaceful festive season.

New research into perinatal depression and anxiety reveals alarming confusion in the community

Media Release 14/11/16

New research has revealed vast gaps in the public's understanding of perinatal anxiety and depression, which is preventing new mums and dads from seeking timely help, Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) says.

Figures released ahead of next week’s Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week (13-19 Nov) uncover that the Australian public believes there is little or no stigma attached to perinatal depression and anxiety – however, the perception of ‘what people think’ remains an enormous hurdle for new parents who are struggling.

Alarmingly, PANDA CEO Terri Smith said the figures suggesting a public acceptance of perinatal depression and anxiety are not reflected in the feelings of the majority of callers to PANDA’s National Helpline.

“The majority of callers report that they feel shame about their condition – a feeling that is compounded by the idea that they are not meeting their own expectations as a mother,” she said.

Annual data from PANDA’s National Helpline identifies that nearly 60% of callers are affected by the feeling of not meeting their own expectations as a parent.

View full media release. 

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.