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Perinatal Depression & Anxiety Impacting Thousands of Families

Posted by Kerrie Gottliebsen | 12/11/15

To many people, Tweddle is about seeking support to help babies sleep and settle. But if you speak to the families about the journey from assessment and intake through to their five day residential stay, home visit or Day Stay, you’ll know Tweddle means so much more. During Perinatal Depression & Anxiety Awareness Week (15-21st November) Tweddle is reminding families that help is available.

In the 2014-15 financial year, 3144 women had their babies at Werribee Mercy Hospital and 5,100 more were delivered at Sunshine hospital. It is estimated that over 150 babies a week will be born in those two western hospitals in the coming year.  

With postnatal depression affecting more than 1 in 7 new mums and 1 in 10 new dads, statistically there will be over 1500 of these new mums and dads in Melbourne’s west (with many more having babies elsewhere) needing critical mental health interventions. The subsequent impact on babies and young children is why support like Tweddle’s is paramount in the very early years.

More than two thirds of the clients in Tweddle’s residential program score in the clinically significant range for depression or anxiety on validated screening tools. What initially may be a call to Tweddle about a baby not sleeping will be an opportunity for a mum or dad to disclose feelings of anxiety, depression or family violence.

Our focus on the baby’s mental health needs is at the heart of all of our programs and supporting the mental health of mum and dad is integral to this. 

Help is available for all mums and dads experiencing postnatal depression and recovery is possible. The first step is to speak with someone, a friend, your Maternal and Child Health Nurse, Mensline, your local GP, PANDA or Lifeline.  

Tweddle Psychology Service

24 Hr MCH Line  ph 13 22 29

Mensline  24/7 1300 78 99 78

PANDA 1300 726 306 10am - 5pm

LifeLine 13 11 14

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