Gidget Foundation Australia exists to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents and raise awareness of perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA).
Gidget was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who tragically took her own life while experiencing postnatal depression, a diagnosis that she kept close to her heart and didn’t share with anyone. Together, her loving family and friends created Gidget Foundation Australia determined that what happened to Gidget would not happen to others.
Across Australia, 1 in 5 new mothers and 1 in 10 new fathers will experience perinatal depressive, anxiety and trauma or stress-related disorders associated with pregnancy or early parenthood.
This equates to over 100,000 new parents nationally each year.
In addition, over 50% of new parents will experience an adjustment disorder.
Sadly, maternal suicide is a leading cause of death amongst expectant and new mothers.
The cost of PNDA to the family, the workplace, and the wider community is significant and poorly recognised. A 2019 PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis, prepared for Gidget Foundation Australia, estimated PNDA is costing Australia $877 million annually.
Gidget Foundation Australia promotes awareness, drives advocacy, educates and delivers services to prevent and treat perinatal mental health issues through early detection and intervention.
Gidget Foundation Australia’s programs include:
- Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Screening Program promotes the early detection of PNDA through a hospital pre-admission appointment with a trained Gidget Midwife.
- Gidget House provides free individual psychological counselling services (up tp 20 sessions) for expectant and new parents, delivered face-to face from 18 locations in three states.
- Start Talking is a national service providing free telehealth psychological counselling services (up to 20 sessions) for expectant and new parents delivered via a video call service, similar to FaceTime, Zoom or Skype
- Gidget Village is a free group treatment program for new parents conducted over eight weeks. Each session has a specific theme helping new parents manage symptoms associated with perinatal depression and anxiety using evidence-based therapy
- Gidget Virtual Village are private, moderated Facebook peer support groups, connecting expectant and new parents with Gidget Foundation Australia and each other, in a safe, judgement-free space
- Gidget Wellbeing Workplace provides tailored programs for employees and management to promote engagement and develop strategies for mentally healthy workplaces
- Empowered by Gidget: Return to Work Program supports new parents in their transition back to work after a new baby or perinatal loss.
- Online Resources including an extensive range of fact sheets prepared by our team of perinatal specialists