New Mental Health Service For Tasmanian Parents

Guy Barnett, Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing

New and expecting parents can now get free mental health care, with the opening of an Australian Government-funded perinatal mental health centre in Hobart.

Gidget House Hobart will help meet demand for mental health care and support before and after birth. Health workers at the centre provide psychological services, with no out-of-pocket expenses.

The Australian Government is investing $26.2 million over four years on a network of 12 perinatal mental health services across the country. These services will help more than 2,800 parents each year.

Almost 100,000 Australians experience perinatal depression and anxiety each year.

Perinatal mental health can impact children as well. If untreated, they can have lifelong effects on their emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development.

Gidget Foundation Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that supports the emotional wellbeing of expecting and new parents, will operate these centres across the country.

Gidget was the nickname of a young mother with postnatal depression who took her own life. Her family and friends created the organisation in her memory to help others.

The new centre is located at the Peacock Centre, 10 Elphinstone Road, North Hobart. Parents wishing to access the Centre can be referred from their GP.

Quotes attributable to Minister Guy Barnett:

“This is an excellent outcome for Tasmanian mothers and their babies,” Minister Barnett said.

“The Tasmanian Government is fully behind this initiative and has proudly provided the bricks and mortar needed, in the Peacock Centre, to host this facility in Hobart.

“We welcome this announcement from the Federal Government and look forward to seeing it make a real difference here in Tasmania.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister Emma McBride:

“The Australian Government is helping new and expecting parents to get support and treatment when they need it through perinatal mental health centres.

“Perinatal mental health can impact not only the parents but also their children, so it’s important to get help quickly. Gidget House Hobart will provide timely mental health support and care.

“I encourage anyone who thinks they may need support to talk to their GP about accessing these services.”

Quotes attributable to Senator Carol Brown:

“Feeling anxious or depressed before or after having a baby is a very common experience.

“Perinatal mental health centres are a place parents can go where people understand, will provide support and help you work out solutions.

“When we look after parents, we also promote children’s wellbeing: for now, and the future.”

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