R U OK? Day on 12 September is run by an Australian non-profit suicide prevention organisation. They advocate using the slogan 'R U OK?' in conversation with others, to check on the mental health of family, friends and co-workers. To find out more, visit the website. Mental health is one of Australia's most significant health issues, with almost half of the population experiencing mental illness at some point in their lives. Furthermore, 54% of those experiencing poor mental health will not access any treatment.* These figures are alarming in their own right, often materialising into high suicide rates. As a society, we are facing an uphill battle when it comes to reducing the prevalence of such health conditions.   [caption id="attachment_16972" align="alignnone" width="300"] Image credit: RU OK Day[/caption]   *Source: Coviu.com...

Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Awareness (PANDA) Week was established by PANDA in 2005 to increase the community’s understanding of perinatal mental illness and to reduce stigma. The theme for PANDA Week 2019 (10-16 November) is ‘Let's Get Real’, because many people are still afraid to talk about perinatal anxiety and depression and there are still many misconceptions about these serious and common illnesses. Too many people don’t know the signs and symptoms, or where to seek help if they’re struggling. Too many people are afraid to reveal what they’re feeling or delay seeking help because of fear of being seen as bad parents. There’s a lot of baggage around mental health, and the mental health of expecting and new parents is no exception. We want expecting and new mums and dads and their families to feel they can be open and honest about their feelings. As a community, we need to ‘get real’ about perinatal anxiety and depression. This is what PANDA Week 2019 is all about. For more information about perinatal anxiety and depression, or to speak with Rosalind about challenges you may be experiencing as a parent, make contact here....

If you've been having a tough time, feeling low or down for a consistent period of time, you may be experiencing signs and symptoms of depression.

What is Perinatal Depression? These days, we typically refer to the term Perinatal Depression rather than ‘Postnatal’, as many mothers find themselves struggling in the antenatal period, or the period before the baby is born. Difficulties coping can occur after the baby is born, or throughout the entire period. Symptoms of Perinatal Depression Some mothers feel very anxious and agitated, full of worry and concern about their baby’s health, weight, or perhaps the quality of their own mothering. Others become unable to sleep and quickly become more and more exhausted. Many just do not feel as though they are coping. Some mothers may become socially isolated. Partners or family members may work long hours and there seems to be a lot of time spent just with a baby. Relationships may suffer as the demands of mothering infants take precedence over many other relationships. People may be on a shorter fuse as fatigue and feeling overwhelmed makes them more reactive. There is a lot to adjust to. No matter how rewarding people find this stage of life, it can become really stressful. Perinatal depression is a common struggle and is different for all who experience it and for some, it can be very severe. Sometimes things...