Peer support at PANDA - Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia
PANDA provides information, counselling, referral and support to families living with perinatal anxiety and depression (antenatal and postnatal) and postnatal psychosis. PANDA provides peer-to-peer support on an individual basis, on the National Perinatal Depression Helpline, via email and home visits. PANDA also provides assistance to a network of peer support groups run by health professionals and self-help facilitators across Victoria.
PANDA’s Helpline is staffed by a mixture of paid professional counsellors and volunteers, many of whom have experienced perinatal anxiety and depression. Volunteers are well supported and integrated in the organisation: through the recruitment process, training and strong supervision model. Qualified senior volunteers can go on to become paid staff. The employment of professional counsellors has developed due to increasing levels of suicidality and risk to mothers and infants.
Volunteers have key input into organisational direction and planning. Constitutionally, only women and men with lived experience of perinatal anxiety or depression or people who have provided care for a woman or man with perinatal mental illness can be full members of PANDA with voting rights. The lived experience of families living with perinatal anxiety and depression and postnatal psychosis informs all aspects of PANDA’s work.
PANDA offers a range of specialised knowledge, skills and experience through services which include:
- National Helpline 1300 726 306 (Mon-Fri)
- Information about perinatal mental illness and recovery
- Support to access mental health and family support services
- Extensive resources and website for consumers and health professionals
- Regular workshops for health professionals for continuing education
- Community Information Forums for pregnant and new parents
- Membership and regular newsletters
810 Nicholson St Fitzroy North
Admin Contact Number (03) 9926 9090
National Helpline 1300 726 306
Operation hours Mon-Fri 9am till 7.30pm (AEST)
Supporting the mental health and well-being of expecting and new families