Gidget Foundation Australia is a not for profit organisation that exists to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents, to ensure they receive timely, appropriate and specialist care.
Gidget was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who tragically took her own life while experiencing unrecognised postnatal depression. In her honour, her family and friends created Gidget Foundation Australia, which evokes Gidget’s warmth and lively spirit.
Perinatal depression and anxiety are recognised mental health conditions affecting 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers. They impact around 100,000 Australians each year, with sadly, maternal suicide being a leading cause of death amongst expectant and new mothers.
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 Program – early intervention screening at hospitals
• Gidget House - free face-to-face psychological counselling sessions at various locations (14 sites in 3 states)
• Gidget Start Talking Telehealth Program - free psychological counselling via video call
• Gidget Village – a group therapy program
• Gidget Virtual Village – a peer to peer Facebook moderated group
• Gidget Perinatal Support Centre – a 24/7 on-demand safety and wellbeing support service.
• Gidget Wellbeing Workplace - tailored programs for employees and management to promote engagement and develop strategies for mentally healthy workplaces
• Empowered by Gidget: A Return to Work Program - supporting new parents in their transition back to work
The pandemic has caused much distress, which has seen Gidget Foundation Australia’s service delivery increase by 63% year on year. The Foundation met a remarkable milestone at the end of 2020 by completing its 20,000th clinical consultation through their Start Talking and Gidget House programs. In fact, over the past 18 months, they have supported more expectant and new parents with clinical consultations than they have throughout the entire prior period, since their inception 19 years ago.
Gidget Foundation Australia would like to thank Kennards Self Storage for their support of expectant and new parents in need, by supplying donated storage space at their Chatswood Centre.
Author: Natalie Speranza, Organisational Development Manager, Gidget Foundation Australia
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