Around one in five new mums and one in 10 new dads may experience PNDA.
Around one in five new mums and one in 10 new dads may experience PNDA. Paul Braven GLA311215BABY

Free specialist counselling now available for new parents

LOCAL parents who may be experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety now have access to free specialist counselling.

Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) is a condition commonly experienced by women during pregnancy and the year following the birth of a baby. Men can be affected too.

Around one in five new mums and one in 10 new dads may experience PNDA.

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser today welcomed the free specialist counselling provided by Gidget Foundation Australia, which is available for local parents via video call.

Up to seven one-hour video call session per client are available with a trained psychologist, as part of the client's GP-referred Mental Health Plan.

Mr Fraser said it can be difficult to access mental health support services when living in remote and regional areas.

"Families in remote areas don't always have the same access to mental health services as those in the cities, and that is why the Start Talking program is so important - to assist parents living in regional areas like the Coffs Coast who may be in need of psychological support,” Mr Fraser said.

"Parents in my electorate will now have access to specialist perinatal and infant mental health services, via video call.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies attended the official launch of Gidget Foundation Australia's Start Talking program in Sydney and announced $270,000 in NSW Government funding to support the initiative.

"I am so proud that mental health services are being improved in this region and the NSW Government is backing this fantastic initiative,” Mr Fraser said.

Mr Barilaro said he was delighted the NSW Government could assist the Gidget Foundation to deliver improved mental health services throughout regional NSW.

"Parents who are living in regional NSW and experiencing symptoms of PNDA will no longer have to experience the inconvenience, time and expense of travelling long distances to access the support they need,” Mr Barilaro said. 

'Gidget' was the nickname of a young mother who took her own life while suffering from unrecognised postnatal depression.

Family and friends established the Gidget Foundation in 2001, which has grown to assist thousands of expectant parents and their families each year.

For more information please visit www.gidgetfoundation.org.au or telephone 1300 851 758.

If you or someone you know needs crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.



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