The 13-19 November 2016 is Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week and we want to start a conversation about mental health in the perinatal period (pregnancy to 12 months of age).
Beyond Blue will be supporting PNDA Awareness Week by promoting the resources and information on our new Healthy Families website. Specifically, the pregnancy and new parents section. We will be encouraging conversations about the challenges of pregnancy and early parenthood and encouraging new mums to take the maternal mental health quiz to check in on how they are going.
Personal stories are an important part of the Healthy Families website and provide a way of supporting others to speak up, and send messages of hope, resilience and recovery to those who may be experiencing difficulties with their mental health, or are supporting a loved one.
To support our activities during PNDA Awareness Week, we are looking for people to contribute to the website by sharing their story of:
- The emotional challenges of being a new parent and how to maintain your wellbeing during this time of change
- A personal experience of depression or anxiety during pregnancy or early parenthood
- Experience supporting a loved one (partner, family member, friend) with depression or anxiety during pregnancy or early parenthood
Why your story matters
Many people still feel confused about what to expect during the perinatal period and when or how to seek support for ongoing emotional distress.
By sharing your story of emotional challenges or mental health issues during pregnancy and/or early parenthood, you will help Beyond Blue to educate the community about how to better support new parents and when to seek help.
We acknowledge that this topic may bring up difficult emotions for many people. We encourage you to reflect on this and decide if this activity is something you feel able to take part in at the moment.
Important information about taking part
Stories will appear on the Just Speak Up section of the Healthy Families website
Quotes from some stories may also be shared on Beyond Blue's social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram (you can choose not to have your story shared in this way if you wish).
Stories will be displayed with your first name and state/territory. You can choose an alternative name/nickname if you prefer not to use your real name.
What will happen to your story
The stories we publish are designed to create a safe space to talk about depression and anxiety during the perinatal period.
To do this, all stories will be carefully reviewed by Beyond Blue's Brand and Content team and may need to be edited. To respect the privacy of others who may be involved in your story, we will also remove information which may identify others.
If we have concerns about a persons safety, we may contact you. If your story reflects current distress we will not be able to publish it.
You will be contacted after the closing date to let you know that your story has been published. If you have any questions about your story or this project, please get in touch on blueVoices@beyondblue.org.au
Taking care of yourself
Writing about an experience with mental health issues can feel overwhelming at times. If you become distressed we encourage you to stop completing the activity, activate your support networks and look after yourself.
You may choose to contact the Beyond Blue Support Service online or on 1300 22 46 36.
If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.