The Government is launching a new online mental health resource to support new mums and mums-to-be through a range of perinatal support programs.
The new MumSpace website offers free access to evidence-based mental health support tools, apps, helplines and resources.
These include two online programs that help new parents build practical skills and learn more about caring for their babies and themselves.
For women who need a little extra help with their emotional wellbeing, the free MindMum mobile app helps new mothers to track their mood, calm themselves with guided relaxation and plan enjoyable activities, learning strategies to improve their relationships and build confidence in parenting.
The website also includes the MumMoodBooster online tool, a self-directed cognitive behavioural therapy treatment program for women with, or at risk of, perinatal depression.
Suitable for pregnant women and new mums, MumMoodBooster includes six interactive online treatment sessions complemented by text message advice and encouragement.
At least 40,000 Australian women are affected by perinatal depression each year. It affects up to nine per cent of pregnant women and 16 per cent of women following the birth of their child.
Good mental health is particularly important for mums and mums-to-be.
Early intervention can be the key to reducing the duration and severity of mental health issues and these new online resources will provide mums with tools to get help.
MumSpace was created by the Perinatal Depression e-Consortium (PDeC), led by the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) in partnership with Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA), Jean Hailes Research Unit at Monash University, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and Queensland University of Technology.
The Government provided $800,000 to support the delivery of MumMoodBooster, and the development of MumSpace and MindMum.
We know that some women find it hard to seek help for perinatal depression, especially in rural and remote areas and we hope these new tools provides that opportunity.
Australia is a world leader in using technology and digital solutions to improve mental health and I am proud of the Government’s commitment to provide access to these services to as many women as possible, regardless of where they live.
Source: The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, Minister for Sport