Expectant and new parents who are experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA) will be able to access GP-referred, free psychological counselling sessions at a new Gidget House in the heart of Manly thanks to support from the NSW Government.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor officially opened the new centre today and announced that the NSW Government is investing a further $1 million in the Gidget Foundation, on top of the $3 million previously committed.
Mr Barilaro said the funding would improve outreach to parents and promote the vital importance of seeking help early if experiencing distress.
“Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of new mums and dads, especially those facing adversity or disadvantage, gives our children the best start in life,” said Mr Barilaro.
“New and expectant parents may be experiencing heightened anxiety due to uncertainties brought about by COVID-19, so they need our backing and support more than ever.”
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said Gidget Foundation’s virtual counselling services were critical for providing regional families with easy access to help.
“Life with a new arrival can be the best of times and the worst of times,” Mrs Taylor said.
“We’re making sure all the new mums and dads in our regions know they don’t have to feel like they are going it alone and that there is specialist support available in the home.”
Gidget Foundation CEO Arabella Gibson said that the NSW funding would make a positive difference to more mums and dads.
“Family and friends established the Gidget Foundation in 2001 and we have grown to assist thousands of families each year. We are delighted that we can help even more parents navigate, and overcome, emotional distress during a pregnancy, or in their first months as a parent,” Ms Gibson said.
Member for Manly James Griffin said the new Gidget House was a welcomed addition to the community giving local mums and dads access to extra support.
“Becoming a parent can be overwhelming for some and I am therefore delighted that the NSW Government has supported the Gidget Foundation to open a new Gidget House right here in Manly, providing free counselling to those parents who need it most.”
The Gidget Foundation Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that helps new and expectant parents to receive timely care through a range of programs, including telehealth pscychological counselling by experienced clinicians.