SYDNEY, Aug 13 — New and expecting parents in Western Sydney will be given free access to psychological counselling, the New South Wales State (NSW) government announced in partnership with the not-for-profit Gidget Foundation on Monday.
Offering specialist mental health treatment in a range of different languages, the new Gidget House facility explained that perinatal anxiety and depression, previously referred to as postnatal depression, affects around one in five new mothers and one in 10 new fathers.
“Speaking about mental health issues remains really taboo among many different cultural groups,” Gidget Foundation Australia ambassador Antoinette Lattouf said.
“Hopefully Gidget House can help to break the stigma, particularly with psychologists who have language and cultural understanding.”
“As a free service, it’s also going to help families who would otherwise struggle to pay for specialist psychological counselling.”
Describing mental health care for expectant and new parents as a priority for the NSW government, Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said nearly 200,000 U.S. dollars invested in the Gidget Foundation means more parents will get the support they need in the early years.
“Perinatal anxiety and depression can creep up on you as a new or expectant parent and it is important mums and dads know there’s help if you need it,” Davies said.
Services will begin in September. – XINHUA