Gidget Foundation Australia, in collaboration with the leaders in parenting services, Karitane, have today announced the opening of Gidget House, Randwick, facilitated by the two organisations to provide free psychological services to support new parents and their families.
Opening its doors on Wednesday 19 April, Gidget House Randwick provides expectant and new mums and dads who are experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression with GP-referred, free psychological sessions.
The service will initially open on Wednesdays and, subject to demand, will extend to 4 days per week thereafter.
Gidget House Randwick will be located within the Karitane Parenting Centre at 146 Avoca Street, Randwick.
Linda Jays, Clinical Psychologist, who will lead Gidget’s extension service into the East, said: “For our clients, seeing someone to share the issues surrounding their emotional wellbeing early is vital. By addressing depressive symptoms at onset means not ‘putting up’ with anxiety or low moods. The reality is that both mothers and fathers experience issues around pregnancy and birth and working with the family unit as a whole is crucial to making a difference in our work.”
Pregnancy brings joys along with challenges. The Gidget Foundation and Karitane recognise the importance of emotional wellbeing for new parents and the need to provide them with support and services. Previously known as postnatal depression, perinatal anxiety and depression during pregnancy and early parenthood (the perinatal period) affects almost 100,000 Australians each year.
Grainne O’Loughlin, CEO of Karitane said, “We are very excited to be partnering with our colleagues from the Gidget Foundation to further support parents with the very real and common issues of anxiety and depression in the antenatal and postnatal period. This partnership will enhance access to psychological support for parents in the Eastern suburbs. We know that 1 in 7 new mums and 1 in 10 new dads will be affected by perinatal anxiety or depression, so this new, free service will go some way to meeting the high demand for parental support.”
Arabella Gibson, CEO Gidget Foundation Australia said, “I firmly believe that sharing our message with new mums and dads is absolutely vital as they try to balance high expectations with today’s fast paced lifestyle. Our community needs to know that it’s ok to feel anxious and low and that the Gidget Foundation can help them through free counselling and professional support at Gidget House in North Sydney and now at Randwick.”
“We are delighted to partner with the Karitane team, a perfect synergy, together offering quality parenting services and emotional support,” Gibson added.
Gidget was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who took her own life while suffering postnatal depression. She hid her suffering from even her loving family and friends. They created the Gidget Foundation determined that what happened to Gidget would not happen to others.
Today, the Gidget Foundation helps hundreds of expectant parents and their families each year through its free psychological services at Gidget House and the Emotional Wellbeing Program for pregnant women at North Shore Private Hospital and the Mater Hospital. The Foundation provides training for health professionals, supports research, develops resources and has established workplace awareness programs.
Karitane’s purpose is to provide evidence based services and programs to support, inform and educate families throughout the childhood years and to build the capacity of the child and family health and the perinatal mental health workforce. Karitane are leaders in parenting services, with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals dedicated to improve parenting competence, maternal depressive symptoms, maternal anxiety, parenting stress and child behaviours.
For further information, interviews or images, please contact:
Arabella Gibson, CEO
Gidget Foundation Australia
M: 0412 906 157
Emily Kawalilak, Marketing and Communication Manager
M: 0432 002 805