Our annual event invites the Ellenbrook community to participate in a Pram Walk, and this year it was held on Wednesday the 15th November from 9.30 am until 11.30 am. The event promotes Peri natal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week.
Postnatal Depression Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about perinatal mental health issues in our local community. It is a time to increase community knowledge about antenatal and postnatal depression & anxiety as well as other mental illnesses experienced during the perinatal period and eliminate the stigma attached so that those affected can feel free to seek help. It is also a time for services to promote themselves to those directly in the community.
Midland Women’s Health Care Place in partnership with The City of Swan, Playgroup WA, CLAN Midland, Ellenbrook Community Library as well as the local Child Health Nurses, all working together to host the free community event.
Small groups proceed with their prams to walk from the Ellenbrook Community Library down Main Street in Ellenbrook. The groups were again this year lead by walking marshals who assisted in facilitating the event. This year’s event was very successful with 63 local parents (mum’s and dad’s, grandparents & relatives) participating.
Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week was formally known as Postnatal Depression Awareness Week. The name change is in response to the importance of recognizing and supporting parents’ mental health right through the perinatal period (during pregnancy and after birth).
Antenatal anxiety and depression are strong risk factors in developing postnatal anxiety and depression. Early treatment during pregnancy can reduce these risks and it’s important that a parent’s well being is considered across this continuum, rather than viewing these periods as separate.
Many expecting mums and dads struggle with antenatal depression and more than 1 in 7 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads are diagnosed with postnatal depression each year. Even more are thought to suffer anxiety. It’s important for expecting and new parents, as well as those around them, to be aware of perinatal anxiety and depression, to know the signs to look out for and where to go for help. With the right treatment and support, new parents can make a full recovery.
Anxiety during pregnancy and after birth accompanied by mood swings is not uncommon. Statistics show about 10% of women and 20% of expectant fathers’ depression and anxiety can become a significant factor which is absolutely debilitating.
PND is not a weakness. It is an illness, often present in families. Raising awareness and identifying risk early, through prenatal screening throughout pregnancy, can lead to early intervention that can minimize the duration and effects of this significant illness.