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1 November 2015

Media Release

 

Anxiety now also recognised in PND Awareness Week

(15 – 21 November 2015)

 

Postnatal Depression (PND) Awareness Week has evolved to become Perinatal Anxiety and Depression (PNDA) Awareness Week. This means the week now encompasses anxiety awareness, and also recognises that many families are affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy. (The term “perinatal” includes both the antenatal and postnatal periods.) This year, PNDA Awareness Week occurs from 15 – 21 November.

Perinatal mental illness affects thousands of Australian families every year. The change to the awareness week follows a recent evaluation of the National Helpline operated by PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia). Over 1800 Australians are diagnosed with ante or postnatal depression every year, and it is expected the figure for ante and postnatal anxiety experiences at least equals this number, perhaps even exceeding it.

“Anxiety has in the past been less recognised than depression, perhaps assumed to be more a personality trait or a character flaw,” said Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness CEO, Viv Kissane. “However, it’s important we start spreading the message that anxiety can be just as debilitating as depression. Becoming a parent, especially for the first time, is a major change. It is a time of transition and adjustment to a new stage of life. To a certain extent, it is normal to experience anxious thoughts, for example about the safety of your baby or the responsibilities that come with being a new parent. However for some parents, the anxiety starts to go beyond this and impact all areas of life”.

“The important message we need to spread is that if you are expecting a baby, or are already a parent, and you are struggling emotionally, help is available and treatment can greatly improve your early parenting experience. And of course most importantly, you are not alone”.

Peach Tree is a Brisbane based charity seeking to compassionately help all families with their emotional wellbeing, while also providing support to those families living in the shadows of perinatal mental illness. Through free weekly parent meetings, Peach Tree encourages struggling mothers to escape isolation and seek support with other mothers having a similar experience. “We provide a safe and non-judgmental environment to ensure parents feel secure and comfortable in discussing real feelings and parenting challenges. We also link parents to both clinical and community services”.

This year, in celebration of PNDA Awareness Week, Peach Tree is hosting the inaugural Peach Tree Vintage Gala on Saturday 21 November at the Victoria Park “Garden Marquee” in Herston. With a vintage-inspired theme, sit down dinner, jazz band, and numerous raffle and silent auction prizes on offer, the evening is sure to become an annual favourite on the PNDA Week calendar.

Tickets cost $140, or $1300 for a table of ten and can be bought online at: http://www.trybooking.com/155944

 

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About Peach Tree

Peach Tree is a not-for-profit organisation that has been raising awareness about perinatal mental illness and supporting new and expecting parents since 2011. Peach Tree is the first and largest perinatal peer support organisation of its kind in Queensland. Offering education and support to help parents cope emotionally and mentally during the parenthood transition is a passion shared by all Peach Tree volunteers, who themselves have lived experience of perinatal mental illness.

Peach Tree was recognised this year at the Mental Health Week Achievement Awards, as a finalist in the small not-for-profit category. This follows a win in the consumer/carer category 2013, when they also received the overall Earl Duus Award.

Peach Tree’s services include:

  • Free, weekly meetings for parents who are experiencing stress or have been diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Parent meeting locations include Caboolture, Stafford, Bulimba, Logan, Caloundra and Yeppoon.
  • PEPP Talk workshops (Preparing Emotionally for the Perinatal Period). For all expecting parents to learn how to increase their emotional wellness and prepare for the parenthood journey.
  • Circle of Security education, to help parents better understand the needs of their children and increase parenting confidence.
  • Awareness-raising, through public speaking engagements and events. Our annual events are the Peach Tree Trek (May) and the Vintage Gala (November).

 

Media Enquiries:

If you would like to interview Peach Tree or someone with lived experience, or request Peach Tree to attend a speaking engagement, please contact:

Viv Kissane

CEO & Co-Founder

Mobile: 0430 046 326

viv@peachtree.org.au