Content warning: discussion of suicide.
This PANDA Week we’ve been encouraging communities everywhere to get real about perinatal mental illness. We’ve explored a range of complex and often confronting feelings experienced by expecting and new parents – including thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
It’s a little-known fact that suicide is the leading cause of maternal death in Australia during pregnancy and the 12 months following birth. With one in five expecting or new mums experiencing a perinatal mental illness, we need to get to the bottom of why this is the case and work out how we can prevent it.
PANDA is therefore joining forces with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and James Cook University to conduct a research project – to start next year – to look into women’s thoughts about suicide during pregnancy and the year following birth. The project is the first of its kind in Australia. This thoughtful article by @MikiPerkins features one of our incredible Community Champions Angela Hind who has bravely shared her story to help increase awareness about a topic that needs to be brought into the open. Thanks so much Angela.