More mental health support for new and expectant parents

The Morrison Government will provide $300,000 to the Gidget Foundation to support expectant and new parents experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety.

Funding will help the not-for-profit parent support organisation to expand its services to help more people in regional, rural and remote locations across Australia.

The Gidget Foundation provides up to 10 free counselling sessions for parents experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety, and is the only dedicated perinatal psychological telehealth counselling service available in Australia.

The announcement coincides with Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week (PNDA Awareness Week), which aims to drive awareness of an illness that affects around 100,000 Australians every year.

Up to one in 10 women experiences depression while pregnant, and one in seven women in the year after birth.

Around one in 20 men experiences depression during their partner’s pregnancy and up to one in 10 new fathers struggle with depression following the birth of their child.

Asking for help is the first and most difficult step, and many expectant and new parents do not seek the help they need.

Early intervention is the key to minimising the impact perinatal anxiety and depression can have on a mother, father, baby and wider family.

With the right support, people experiencing perinatal mental health issues can get better – allowing them to experience the joy of parenthood and lead happy, fulfilled lives.

Improving mental health services is a key pillar of the Government’s long term national health reform plan and this announcement builds on the Government’s record levels of investment in mental health, including an additional $338 million announced in the 2018–19 Budget.

The funding complements the $2.61 million in grants provided by the Morrison Government in 2018–19 through the Maternity Peer Support Program.

We’re committed to ensuring Australians of all ages have access to the support they need to face life’s challenges.

The Liberal National Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year.

Our Government’s strong economic management ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.