Last night, 12 November 2019, Inner West Mums hosted our third information session on perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA), which affects as many as one in five expecting or new parents. November 10-16 marks Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (or PNDA) Awareness Week, an endeavour to increase understanding and break the silence on PNDA.
The evening included an informative and moving panel discussion, hosted by Inner West Mums founder Anita Vitanova. The panel featured two professionals with a particular interest in maternal mental health: Balmain Health Village GP Dr Sue Acton and Elizabeth Neal of Elizabeth Neal Psychology. Dr Acton and Liz Neal covered risk factors, signs and symptoms of PNDA, treatment and self-care.
Inner West Mums Kunjal Shah, formerly of the admin team, and Ginny Grant, group admin and website editor, bravely shared their unique personal journeys with PNDA.
Although much has been done in recent times in regard to raising awareness of mental health issues, the stigma that surrounds mental illness still stops many from seeking help. Far too many expecting or new parents suffer alone and in silence or leave their illness untreated for too long because they feel they’ll be judged for not being a ‘perfect’ parent.
The main aim of this event was to encourage parents to be able to be open and honest with themselves and those around them about how they are coping with the shift to becoming a parent, to understand what is a normal part of the journey and what is not, and if they need help, to reach out.
Approximately 25 people attended the event, including several new or expecting mums and their partners, which was wonderful to see. Afterwards, several of the guests approached the Inner West Mums founder Anita Vitanova and admin Ginny Grant to say that after hearing the professionals and mums speak, they recognised symptoms of anxiety or depression in themselves and will now act on it. Mission accomplished!
Karitane representative Karen Edwards also attended the event, offering advice to new parents.
There was pizza and a drink on arrival and delicious cupcakes from the talented Liz Wellman of Cake That by Liz.
Proceeds from the ticket sales totalled around $350 which will go towards our Christmas Food Drive to buy much-needed grocery vouchers for the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown.
Sincere thanks to Dr Sue Acton and Liz Neal for giving their time to raise awareness of this very important cause. And as usual thanks also to Inner West Mums’ sponsors – Baker Developments, Canale Tax and Accounting, Gowland Legal and Guardian Childcare and Education – for their ongoing support.