One in seven mums need this service.
The Parenthood, Australia’s leading advocacy organisation for Australian parents, is outraged at the recent Federal Government cuts to the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI).
NPDI was established in 2008 and focuses on prevention and early detection of antenatal and postnatal depression. Something one in seven new mums experience.
The service provides care, support and treatment for pregnant women and new mums experiencing depression and anxiety.
The Federal Government usually contributes $8.3 million a year to the $85 million program. However, as of 30 June 2015, Federal Health Minister Susan Ley says that the Federal Government will no longer foot the bill. Instead, leaving it to State and Territory Ministers to decide whether they have room in their budget to support the essential service.
Jo Brisky, Executive Director of The Parenthood, says this isn't acceptable.
"It is incredibly disappointing that the Federal Government has chosen to pull the pin on the National Perinatal Depression Initiative. With almost 100,000 Australian mums experiencing depression or anxiety in any one year it beggars belief that the Government would end its support of an initiative that helps ensure new parents get the care and support they need."
Briskey says that without the funding there is an increased chance that early screening, prevention and early intervention measures won't be available to support new families.
“This really is a poor decision by the Health Minister and we hope to change her mind before it’s too late."
The Parenthood have started a campaign to change the Health Minister's mind. At the time of publishing, 602 concerned parents had signed the petition, with the aim being 1,000. If you are interested in joining, please go here.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any difficulties as a new parent contact Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA). Call to speak with someone today on 1300 726 306.
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