Gidget Foundation Australia is providing 24/7 mental health support for expectant and new parents.
Here, Arabella Gibson, CEO of Gidget Foundation Australia, writes about a new mental health support app for parents.
For expectant and new parents, mental health concerns might not always be at the forefront of their minds, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be addressed as quickly as any physical health concern.
Being an expectant and new parent is a worrisome and challenging task at the best of times. In the current climate of isolation and restriction, expectant and new parents are going without the usual level of access to support and professional guidance.
Gidget Foundation Australia’s research has revealed that 81% of parents are experiencing increased anxiety due to the pandemic. The Gidget Perinatal Support Centre smartphone app is a convenient digital platform, offering 24/7 support for parents who are struggling with perinatal depression and anxiety.
With suicide being the leading cause of maternal death , we recognise the significant importance of an accessible, around-the-clock support centre for parents who are struggling with perinatal anxiety and depression.
The app will connect vulnerable NSW parents with crucial support services when things are getting overwhelming at home. Sometimes the idea of having to wait to see the GP to have someone to talk to can be devastating, but the live chat function of the app gives parents an immediate and productive solution to address these feelings.
We are extremely lucky to have the support and funding of the NSW Government on this project, as well as the technological expertise of Sonder. With their help, we have also integrated a 24/7 phone support centre into the app, which connects parents to a network of experienced support staff around Australia at any time.
Another favourable feature is the privacy and comfort that a smartphone app offers to parents who find digital communication easier than face to face and over-the-phone conversations.
An important point to note is that you do not need to be struggling to join the program. We encourage all expectant and new parents to access the app as a part of their self-care and self-awareness journey. Our goal is to educate and build awareness of perinatal depression and anxiety, as well as provide essential support services to those struggling and mitigate any escalation of that emotional distress.
With Perinatal Mental Health Week (8-14 Nov) approaching, we want to remind Australian parents that we’re here, we’re listening. We are confident that the app will provide vulnerable parents with a new outlet to reach out, ask for help and say what’s not being said.
Collaboration is at the heart of Perinatal Mental Health Week and so Gidget Foundation is proud to be working with a number of perinatal service organisations to drive education and awareness of the importance of perinatal emotional wellbeing. This year, we are encouraging the community to come together, connect and bake in support of Perinatal Health Week.
About the Gidget Foundation Australia
The Gidget Foundation Australia provides support for Perinatal Depression and Anxiety through support services for families suffering emotional distress during pregnancy and early parenting and education and awareness programs for health professionals and the community.
Their mission is to promote the importance of emotional wellbeing amongst expectant and new parents, their healthcare providers and the wider community to ensure that those in need receive timely, appropriate and supportive care.
Sonder is a 24/7 on-demand support network delivering support in safety, medical and mental health. Sonder works with some of Australia’s largest companies and education providers in helping their people navigate complicated help frameworks, by providing a single point of access for any type of help. Sonder integrates a digital application with a 24/7 support centre and a distributed network of support personnel to deliver a comprehensive and innovative mode of support.