The Inner West Mums’ second information evening, Overcoming PND, was held last night at the Toxteth Hotel in Glebe. Approximately fifty Inner West Mums – and a handful of dads – came to learn more about postnatal depression.
The event was part of our fundraising program as we continue to raise funds to purchase much-needed privacy screens for the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Newborn Care Unit. An impressive $615 was raised for RPA Newborn Care, which brings us ever closer to our goal of purchasing another set of screens for the unit by the end of this year. Danielle Achikian, RPA Newborn Care’s fundraising manager, spoke at the beginning of the evening, emphasising the importance of the privacy screens for the families that spend time in the unit.
The discussion panel comprised of two professionals with extensive experience in the area of women’s perinatal mental health – GP Dr Natalie Caristo of the Abbotsford Medical Practice and psychologist Liz Neal of Elizabeth Neal Psychology – as well as two mums, Laura and Nicky, both of whom have experienced postnatal depression. The conversation touched on many aspects of postnatal depression, including its presentation, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and recovery. It was a lively, and at times deeply moving, discussion, especially as Laura and Nicky spoke candidly about the challenges they faced. At the end of the panel’s discussion, there was some excellent audience engagement too.
The event has already received much praise. One attendee, Inner West Mum Heather, said, ‘I couldn’t sleep much last night as I was buzzing from the event. It really was so wonderful. I think this kind of thing is so important and really sets Inner West Mums apart as such a caring community.’ The information evening has prompted at least one mum already to seek help.
Inner West Mums founder, Anita Vitanova, is thrilled. She says: ‘It’s so important to talk about postnatal depression. The more we do so, the more it will encourage others who are suffering in silence to speak up and seek help. We should not keep quiet about an illness that affects so many mums and dads.’
Many thanks again to Laura and Nicky for sharing their experiences so very bravely, to Dr Caristo of the Abbotsford Medical Practice and Elizabeth Neal for providing their expertise for our panel, to the businesses that contributed prizes to the evening – Boobs on the Run, LessMess Professional Organisers, The Laser Lounge, Aromatherapywithsarah, The Skin and Laser Clinic Sydney and Seek & Spark – and also our sponsors, Gowland Legal, Mirvac and Your Property Experts Inner West.
Finally if you feel you are not coping with the demands of parenthood, please do seek help. Your GP is a great place to start.
Cover image: Inner West Mums Nicky and Laura
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