Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) is launching a new initiative to raise awareness and funds for the ongoing support of expecting and new mums and dads suffering from anxiety and depression.
Members of the community are being encouraged to organise a PANDA Lunch Out Loud event in the lead up to Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week in November, and to talk ‘Out Loud’ to have open and honest conversations about the joys and challenges of parenthood.
The funds raised from the initiative will help ensure PANDA can continue to raise awareness about
perinatal anxiety and depression and help ensure women and men seek help early and don’t suffer any longer than they have to.
PANDA CEO Terri Smith says she hopes over 1,000 Lunch Out Loud events will be held across Australia this year in recognition of the mums, dads and families who are struggling or have struggled with perinatal anxiety and depression.
“New parents experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression can feel lonely, afraid, isolated and
embarrassed – but understanding what is happening to them is an important first step to recovery.”
She added that the concept of Lunch Out Loud was developed to recognise that everyone's journey to parenthood is unique.
“We want to create a space for mums, dads, grandparents, friends, siblings, carers, employers and
employees to come together, enjoy lunch and talk about their experiences, challenges and joys in
“At PANDA we hear every day that parenthood is tough; so encouraging friendship and support is a great first step in this journey.
“We hope that Lunch Out Louds will provide an ongoing platform to encourage discussion of parenthood while also working to raise awareness of perinatal anxiety and depression which we know affects at least 1 in 7 new mums and 1 in 10 new dads.”
Funds raised from Lunch Out Loud will support PANDA, which offers counselling through its free National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline (1300 726 306, Mon-Fri 10am-5pm EST) and provides information and referral services with ongoing telephone support for families throughout Australia