Expecting and new parents are being urged to seek mental health support if they need it, as events take place across NSW for Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week.
Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies made the appeal today following an address to family health professionals at the NSW Health Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Symposium in Sydney.
“While perinatal depression and anxiety is a serious condition that affects around 100,000 Australian families every year, many people suffer in silence,” Mrs Davies said.
“Awareness has grown in recent times but often parents are still unable to recognise the signs in themselves, or loved ones, and we must ensure all families know the symptoms and where to get help.”
Mrs Davies said NSW Government reforms have seen the reach of specialist perinatal and infant mental health services expand, with 19 new dedicated service positions funded in the last financial year.
This week Mrs Davies also visited the Warragamba Silverdale Neighbourhood Centre playgroup to acknowledge the vital role community organisations play in helping parents recognise and talk about symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“It can be difficult to talk openly about how you’re feeling but I encourage you or your partner, if you are not feeling yourself, to reach out and seek help,” Mrs Davies said.
For more information about the signs and symptoms visit the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) website www.panda.org.au or call 1300 726 306.
To find specialist services in your local area speak to your GP or call the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511. If you or someone you know needs crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.