More Mental Health Support Offered for New Parents in Australia

October 21, 2020 Updated: October 22, 2020

New and expectant parents struggling through the coronavirus pandemic are being offered extra mental health support.

The number of new callers to Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia has doubled since March.

More than 40 percent of all calls to the hotline have come from Victoria.

Callers to the helpline are also presenting with more intense and enduring mental illness.

Average call times have risen from 15 to 30 minutes before the pandemic to 30 to 45 minutes.

The Morrison government on Oct. 22 pledged an additional $13.6 million to expand perinatal mental health services.

Nearly 100,000 Australian parents are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety each year.

One in 10 women experience this while pregnant and one in seven the year after birth.

About one in 10 new and expectant fathers experience perinatal mental illness.

By Daniel McCulloch