New mothers to miss out on postnatal depression support services due to soaring demand and funding shortfall
Thousands of women suffering postnatal depression will miss out on vital support services as Australia’s “booming” birthrate outstrips the resources available to assist vulnerable mothers. PANDA today launched the Million Mums in May campaign, calling for urgent, increased funding to support the growing number of women diagnosed with postnatal depression.
Demand for PANDA's Helpline, as the only specialist, national perinatal depression helpline support service, has increased by 70% in the last two years. With rising birthrates this number is set to grow even further, with predictions of nearly 50,000 women affected by postnatal depression in 2015.
Despite the increased birthrate and demand for services, funding to PANDA has remained stagnant. This is creating a gap between those who desperately need help and PANDA’s capacity to provide essential information, referrals and ongoing counseling services.
PANDA CEO, Belinda Horton, said without immediate, additional funding, PANDA would not be able to keep pace with increasing demand and the around the clock needs of women with postnatal depression and their families.
“Operating at maximum capacity, PANDA’s National Perinatal Depression Helpline can help only 7% of the mums who need it. The Australian and state governments must provide funding to ensure that PANDA's Helpline is available 24/7. Without the additional funds, 93 out of 100 struggling mums will miss out on urgently needed support from PANDA, with devastating effects for them and their families,” Belinda Horton said.
PANDA’s 1 Millions Mums in May seeks to raise awareness of the crisis in funding for postnatal depression support services and asks governments for essential funding for the PANDA Helpline.
In the lead up to Mother’s Day, one million mums from around Australia are being asked to help PANDA’s campaign and support other mums by contacting their local MP at millionmums.org.au.
“Nearly 16% of mums will suffer from postnatal depression in 2013. These figures mean approximately 48,000 Australian mums are not enjoying life with their babies. We fear that as the birthrate increases more mums will miss out on the support they need from PANDA and not know where to go for help because of the lack of funding”, Belinda Horton said.
“Families in regional and rural areas are particularly at risk as often PANDA’s helpline is the only accessible service. Every day we speak to mums who are dealing with desperate feelings of distress, anxiety and depression while caring for their little ones. Some of them feel so alone and unsafe. While we are thankful for the Federal Government’s support to date, there is no doubt we now need to be available 24 hours, 7 days a week to make sure no family loses a loved one to this terrible illness,” said Belinda Horton.
Community support is critical to the Million Mums in May campaign. Without it, more and more new mothers suffering from postnatal depression may not get the help they desperately need. “We are calling on mothers to contact their MPs to tell them how vital support services for postnatal depression can be to a young family,” said Belinda Horton.
PANDA partners with the Eat Move Live project to support healthy living
PANDA’s Home Start home-visiting volunteers now have additional resources and skills to support families seeking healthy eating and lifestyle ideas, after completing Eat Move Live Project training.
Funded by the NIB foundation, the project focuses on helping families to make small changes to improve their eating and physical activity habits; as well as easy practical information and support to reduce the risk of childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.Read more: PANDA partners with the Eat Move Live project to support healthy living
Dads are dealing with postnatal depression too
Around one in 20 new dads are diagnosed with postnatal depression each year in Australia and one in 7 have a partner who is diagnosed with the illness.
However, awareness that men also suffer, and understanding of the devastating emotional, social and financial impact on families, friends, colleagues and workplaces, has a long way to go.
Read more in this expert article by PANDA CEO Belinda Horton, published on Web Child this week. (article will open in new window)
PANDA’s Home-Start program chosen for International Conference
PANDA was selected to present its leading Home-Start program at the 7th International QEC (Queen Elizabeth Centre) Conference.
The conference attracts health professional from across the globe and was staged on the 15-16 November, in the lead-up to Postnatal Depression Awareness Week.
It aims to provide cutting edge information on early childhood development and parenting; and to assist service providers to develop long-term positive outcomes for the health, development and wellbeing of children their families, and the staff who provide services.
PANDA’s Home-Start Co-ordinator Betti Gabriel reported on the successful roll-out of the Home-Start volunteer home-visiting service and preliminary findings on the on-going benefits of the program for parents living with perinatal depression.Read more: PANDA’s Home-Start program chosen for International Conference
PANDA's Summer Newsletter Available Now
Enjoy a feel-good read in the Sun with PANDA’s Summer Newsletter, out now! Our gorgeous MummaBubba jewellery helps raise funds and fun and is available now. Find out about our ground-breaking new research with Deloitte Access Economics and our successful home-visiting program. You can catch-up on the fun of our Night Off-Night Out event, the Pregnancy Babies and Children’s Expo and get great tips to help keep the kids pool-safe this summer. Dowload this issue and previous newsletters here.
- #bePNDaware: Looking Back at Postnatal Depression Awareness Week through a Social Media Lens
- Research reveals the alarming economic cost of postnatal depression
- PANDA congratulates the Victorian Government
- Brisbane Bloggers support PANDA and PND Awareness Week
- Mums, bubs and volunteers celebrate PANDA's home-visit success
- PANDA's Spring Newsletter Available Now
- Our 2012 Winter Newsletter
- Australian Postnatal Depression Website Recognised As World’s Best