Tuesday, 9 September 2008

"Perinatal Depression: Strengthening recovery and building social capital"

Today I was honoured to speak to a delightful audience on behalf on Panda.

PANDA has compiled the 'Guide to PND Support Groups Manual' covering many aspects of how to go about setting up different types of support groups for women with antenatal and postnatal depression. Look at it here:-

I addressed around 70 ladies who were health professionals, volunteers or mothers who had also been affected by postnatal depression. I delivered my talk on my story, signs and symptoms to look out for and ways to help sufferers.

Issues which came up and I would appreciate any advice on were support for lesbian mothers who suffer PND and also ways in which sufferers have weaned themselves off medication.

In the afternoon Jane Honikman gave a great talk on the importance of social network support. Jane, M.S., is a Parent Support Consultant/ Postpartum Specialist from Santa Barbara, California. In 1977, she co founded Postpartum Education for Parents (PEP) and became the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Birth Resource Centre in 1984. She founded the Postpartum Support International (PSI) in 1987 as a result of hosting the first conference on Women’s Mental Health Following Childbirth held in Santa Barbara. She was PSI’s first President and operated the organization until 2004. Jane has authored many articles and educational materials on postpartum issues and support, including her books Step by Step (2000) and I’m Listening (2002). She continues to lecture internationally on the role of social support and the emotional health of families. Visit her website at

One lovely idea she shared with us was that PSI have a Memory quilt with the names of those ladies who have taken their lives due to postnatal illness. It serves as a memorial and a reminder of why this is such an important area and why they should not be forgotten.

Jane spoke passionately about the need for social support and recommends these websites for more information.

Extensive information including worldwide social support network and resources
Father's website
Collaborator with PSI providing on-line support

PSI Social Support Network of trained volunteers around the world offer support and local resources. Find them at

Toll-free Helpline 800-944-4PPD offers support to women and families, in English & Spanish.

Free Weekly Telephone Support Service via teleconference with information provided by PSI member hosts

PSI also have a new publication called A Guide to Developing A Sustainable Perinatal Social Support Network in Your Community.

Before the event began I had a coffee with Joe Dodd who is the manager of Trade and Investment from the British Consulate- General. As a UKTI Passport to Export member I can arrange to meet these UK reps around the world. I recommend the scheme.

I also spoke to a charming lady called Frances Eyre who has a company called Nuture Inside - caring for Mind and Body.
See her website at www.nurtureinside.com.au

I was also given a book by Lyn Shand called 'Balance those Hormones' http://www.elkanahcounselling.com.au/books.html

Lyn told me that she is a strong believer in the importance of hormones and the role they play in PND. I am looking forward to reading it.

And with that it was back to the airport, thank you Belinda, and my flight back to Sydney.


No comments: