7 – 13 NOVEMBER 2021

Perinatal Mental Health Week is a time to raise awareness and collaborate to ensure that parents in need know that they are not alone. 1 in 5 new mums and 1 in 10 new dads experience perinatal depression and anxiety, which is around 100,000 Australian parents each year.

Collaboration is at the heart of this important week. So we are proud to be working together. This year has been incredibly challenging. We are united in ensuring expectant and new parents know… We’re here, we’re listening.

Shining a light on perinatal mental health

The Hon. Bronnie Taylor MLC, NSW Minister for Mental Health, Women and Regional Youth, introduces Perinatal Mental Health Week.

How to ask

If you know a new or expectant parent there are many ways to offer support. It can be hard to know where to start. One idea is to simply ask “How they are going?” and then listen really well. The earlier the intervention the better the outcome for all.

Asking your daughter or son

It can be tough to watch your daughter or son adjust to parenthood if you see them being unsettled. You could reflect on your own experience as a way to open up discussion with them or tell them about what they were like as a baby whilst always encouraging openness and honesty and offering them reassurance at the same time. Asking what they need might also be helpful and just being there in any way you can.

Asking your friend

Getting your friend out for a walk or coffee and talking at the same time might be useful. Check in often, offer times to connect and give them space to respond. If you can ask them “How is it going being a parent?” or share a funny story of your own might encourage them to open up. Validate their feelings and listen well.

Asking your partner

A weekly catch up where there are limited interruptions might be a good time to really ask how your partner is going, You could each do this as regular check in. Timing is important and making sure you can offer support, ideas, or just a good listening ear. Sometimes you just need someone to be there and ask the question. Phones away for this time to connect!

Asking yourself

If you notice changes in yourself then take some quiet time, reflect on how you are feeling and be patient with yourself as you settle into this new parenting space. Recognise and label the emotions. If what you normally do is not helping you feel better, then reach out to a trusted friend or family member to get more support. Stay connected with others and make a plan.

Who can help?

Provides education, resources and peer support for birthing families.

Provides leading support and care for families who experience the loss of their baby.

Provides expectant fathers with tools and resources to support them and their families.

Supports parents and infants with planning, pregnancy, postpartum and parenting.

Provides information via the Ready to COPE Guide and links to support and treatment services via the e-COPE Directory.

Provides free psychological support through specialist face to face and telehealth counselling services as well as group therapy.

Provides high quality care for women through clinics in Melbourne and focusses on health, education, research and policy for women’s healthcare.

Supports parents with young children with free services for sleep, settling, feeding, routines, toddler behaviour and perinatal mental health.

Supports expecting and new parents through the free National Perinatal Mental Health Helpline (9:00am to 7:30pm Monday to Friday AEST).

Supports parent wellbeing and infant development (conception to 2 years) through research and evidence based treatments.

Provides free peer-led mental health support, parenting programs and community groups to support families throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Provides ongoing telephone counselling, psycho educational groups, facilitated Playgroup, free adjunct childcare and a variety of workshops.

Provides the latest resources, information and peer-support for anyone impacted by miscarriage and early pregnancy loss.

Connects parents to services in the South West of Australia to support emotional wellbeing during early parenthood.

Provides new fathers with information and connections to online services through their mobile phones.

Provides perinatal mental health services for mothers, baby and their partners experiencing mental health issues throughout the perinatal period.

Supports the stillbirth community through funding research, advocacy and creating a supportive network for parents, family and friends.

Provides professional advice, education and guidance to families with a baby, toddler or pre-schooler.

Provides advice and education that supports babies, toddlers and their families to strengthen attachment and mental health & build parenting skills and confidence.

Provides counselling and clinical psychology services to support pregnant women and couples, new parents, and bereaved parents.

Proudly supported by

Daily themes

If you’re a parent living with PNDA, take a moment to consider one theme each day this week,
and see if there is someone you can talk to about them.

DAY 1 – 7 NOVEMBER
COVID-19

COVID-19 changed every expectation (I had) about pregnancy, birth and new parenthood

DAY 2 – 8 NOVEMBER
STIGMA

I knew something was wrong, but I was too scared to tell anyone

DAY 3 – 9 NOVEMBER
FATHERS

I didn’t know that dads could also experience perinatal depression and anxiety

DAY 4 – 10 NOVEMBER
RURAL & REMOTE

I felt even more isolated as a new parent in a regional town

DAY 5 – 11 NOVEMBER
TRAUMA (INCLUDING BIRTH)

I didn’t know how my own trauma would impact on my parenting

DAY 6 – 12 NOVEMBER
GRIEF & LOSS

I never knew I could feel so broken

DAY 7 – 13 NOVEMBER
PROMOTING SUPPORT SERVICES

The support I was able to access saved my life

And thats a wrap!

Self care is essential

Ivan Frkovic, the Commissioner of the Queensland Mental Health Commission, talks about the importance of self care for parents.

Share with us

Help spread the word by sharing a theme image that resonates with you
on social media tagged with #pmhw

…or share this page on social media

Reach out

Shane Rattenbury, MLA, Attorney-General of the ACT and Emma Davidson, Minister for Mental Health discuss the importance of reaching out to the valuable services available to help expectant and new parents.

Download the media release

PMHW Collaboration Media Release