Australian Postnatal Depression Website Recognised As World’s Best
PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Association) says that too many Australians are not reaching out for help and it is critical they get quality information as figures show 1 in 7 new mothers and 1 in 10 new fathers experience postnatal depression.
Australia’s Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA) has now been rated as the worldwide website leader for mothers with a postnatal mental illness in an independent, international study.
The study, conducted by the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, and published in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health is the most comprehensive review of postnatal depression websites to date.
Belinda Horton, PANDA CEO said; “We are thrilled with this recognition. Around one in 7 new mothers and 1 in 10 new fathers are diagnosed with postnatal depression and many of them are reluctant to seek help. PANDA’s website is often the first, critical contact point that makes it easier for people to get vital information and support in the privacy of their own homes
Belinda Horton said that postnatal depression and anxiety (perinatal depression) is a quiet, under-reported epidemic in Australia with figures indicating over 47,000 women and 29,000 men are suffering; and urged people to seek support.
“Perinatal depression continues to be significantly under reported. We are talking about a quiet epidemic that is happening at alarming levels. It can happen to anyone, makes people feel powerless and can tear families apart. But it can be treated and lives are turned around every day.”
“More than 50,000 people visit PANDA’s website every year and for many, it’s the first step towards understanding, acceptance and recovery from perinatal depression.”
In the independent study, health psychologists Donna Moore and Dr. Susan Ayers from the University of Sussex assessed 114 websites (narrowed down from 1,360,000 initial browser results) in the study that were exclusively dedicated to postnatal mental health or had substantial information on postnatal mental illness and met defined criteria.
PANDA was the only Australian website to make the top five for women with postnatal mental illness. It was consistently ranked in the top 25% for all the key criteria of: Information, Website Quality, Tools for Mothers, Support for Mothers and Additional Resources.
PANDA’s website was particularly distinguished by the high number of quality help resources it provides for mothers, including its extensive range of self help tools (eg coping strategies, how to seek help), access to its National Perinatal Depression Helpline and community support groups; and additional support such as information fact sheets on numerous aspects of living with perinatal depression.
Belinda Horton said,
“PANDA is dedicated to supporting families experiencing perinatal depression. We are delighted that our many years of expertise and knowledge have been independently recognised. More importantly, it reinforces that Australians have access to world-leading help and support via PANDA’s website.”
“I’m especially delighted that PANDA has been recognised for our work supporting women with postnatal depression as this has always been our primary focus. We are a leader in providing specialist services and raising awareness of perinatal depression.”
“The main aim of our website is to provide the most indepth and useful information available on any site; including personal experiences and descriptions of what it’s like to live with perinatal depression, not just a list of symptoms or a checklist tool.”
“We are working hard to wipe away the stigma around a problem that is very real. The results of the study will help us further improve PANDA’s website to ensure we continue to provide the highest quality information and support to women and their families living with perinatal depression.”
Anyone concerned about antenatal or postnatal depression is encouraged to call PANDA’s National Perinatal Depression Helpline on 1300 726 306.