Perinatal anxiety and depression is more serious and common than many people realise.
Up to one in five expecting or new mothers and one in ten expecting or new fathers will experience perinatal anxiety or depression. Around 100,000 families will be affected by this illness every year across Australia.
Left untreated, it can have a devastating impact on parents, partners, baby and the rest of the family. In the worst cases, it can even put lives at risk.
Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Awareness (PANDA) Week was established by PANDA in 2005 to increase awareness and reduce stigma. Since then PANDA has been using the Week to speak out about supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of expecting and new parents, including the signs to look for and where to go to seek support.
The theme of this year’s PANDA Week campaign was ‘I wish I knew’, because many expecting and new mums and dads are surprised and shocked by how challenging becoming a parent can be.
During PANDA Week 2018 our community came together to share stories showing that becoming a parent can be mentally tough – even devastating – but there is help available for those who struggle.
Information, messages and stories were shared across a range of platforms highlighted that perinatal anxiety and depression and postnatal psychosis are potentially serious – even devastating – illnesses, but they are temporary and treatable and there is hope of recovery.
Some highlights of PANDA Week 2018 included:
- Over 20 TV stories appearing across Australia featuring PANDA and our incredible Community Champions and Ambassadors, many highlighting the launch of PANDA’s new Mental Health Checklist for Expecting and New Parents
- Over 150 radio stories across the country reaching into all the key cities but also across rural and outback Australia (Karatha, Albany, Dubbo, Bathurst, Cairns and Longreach to name just a few).
- More than 50 print and online media stories raising awareness and promoting PANDA’s Checklist and National Helpline
- PANDA’s ‘I wish I knew’ social and online campaign taking off sparking tears and many conversations in the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blog worlds and beyond
- A range of creative and inclusive PANDA Day events happening right across the Week and across the country, raising awareness in communities and also critical funds for PANDA.
Join us next year as we continue to raise awareness about perinatal anxiety and depression and postnatal psychosis. There is still a great deal of work to do before communities right across the country are better able to support the mental health of expecting and new parents.
PANDA Week 2019: November 10 – 16