The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is proud to support Beyondblue’s National Postnatal Depression Awareness Week 2011 (November 13-19).
Postnatal Depression Awareness Week highlights that many parents who experience depression and anxiety during pregnancy and after birth are not being diagnosed.
“The week is about encouraging women to seek help early and break down some of the stigma surrounding this common health issue.
“In addition we are aiming to build ongoing and long term partnerships among service providers and linking clients and community members to services. This will then increase their awareness of Post Natal Depression (PND) and their knowledge of the services that are available in Dubbo & Region.” Health Promotion and Prevention Officer Yvonne Muyambi said.
Beyondblue reports Postnatal Depression affects almost 16% of women following childbirth in Australia.
“Postnatal Depression (PND) affects many families in the community and it is estimated that one in seven women develop PND following the birth of a baby. Many fathers also experience feelings of depression during this time.
“Untreated, PND can lead to ongoing mental health issues that can affect all aspects of a woman’s life, particularly her relationships with others including her new baby.” Western NSW LHD Parenting, Perinatal and Infant Care in Mental Health Clinical Coordinator Christina Hunt said.
Child and Family Health Nurses in the WNSWLHD are trained in screening women for postnatal depression and can serve as the gateway to a range of public and private health services for the treatment of PND. GPs are trained in recognising PND and can offer a range of treatment options. Speaking to either a Child and Family Health Nurse or GP is a first step.
“I want all mothers and fathers to recognise that help is available, recovery is possible and it's OK to talk about it.” Ms Hunt said.
During Postnatal Depression Awareness Week 2011, a free morning tea for mums, mums to be, grandparents and family is being held at Victoria Park, Dubbo on Friday 18th November. The event will run from 10am – 12pm.
Women, their families and friends can also contact the Mental Health Information and Support Service 1800 011 511 for help if PND is suspected. More information about PND- including a list of symptoms and treatment options is available from www.beyondblue.org.au and www.panda.org.au