Federal health minister Greg Hunt has announced additional funding of $7.8 million over four years to expand the National Perinatal Mental Health Helpline.
The helpline is operated by Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA).
It is Australia’s only free national helpline service specifically for women, men, and their families affected by or at risk of perinatal mental illness.
Minister Hunt said it provides a safe and confidential space for any new and expectant parent struggling with the challenges of becoming a new parent.
“The Morrison Government recognises the importance of supporting the mental health of expectant and new parents,” he said.
“Many expectant and new parents do not seek help for perinatal depression and anxiety, because they do not know which emotions are normal, or because of the stigma associated with mental illness.
“PANDA’s services have never been more critical - and this additional funding will ensure the Helpline is there for new and expectant parents to seek the help they need, when they need it.”
The additional funding will enable PANDA to build capacity on the helpline that has been in increasing demand during the pandemic.