New and expectant parents in Western Sydney who need mental health support will now have access to free psychological counselling.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard today opened the new Gidget House service in Merrylands where free mental health support is now available to new or soon to be parents experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
“The NSW Government provided $10,000 this year to assist with the launch of the new service in Western Sydney, in addition to $270,000 provided to expand the work of the Gidget Foundation to rural and remote communities across the State,” Mr Hazzard said.
“We also recently announced a landmark $157 million Parents’ Package to protect and improve the wellbeing of new parents and their babies.
“Our investment in the wonderful work of the Gidget Foundation will mean more parents recover from mental illness and receive support in those very important early years.”
Mental health care for expectant or new parents, known as perinatal care, is a priority for the NSW Government. Under the NSW Mental Health Reform $3.2 million is provided annually to expand specialist Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services, in addition to $3.1 million per year for the Mums and Kids Matter program run by Wesley Mission.
Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said the NSW Government this year boosted specialist services in the community with $1.1 million under the Parents’ Package and announced plans for a new specialist mums and bubs unit.
“Perinatal anxiety and depression can creep up on you as a new or expectant parent and it is important mums and dads know there’s help if you need it,” Mrs Davies said.
Gidget House will employ local psychologists, including those fluent in a range of languages, to provide responsive services to the diverse community of Western Sydney. The service is based at Stockland Shopping Centre Merrylands and people wanting to use the service can ask their General Practitioner for a referral.
The Gidget Foundation Australia delivers programs to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents from locations across metropolitan Sydney and reaches rural and remote communities through the new Start Talking Telehealth Program.