New parents set to benefit from simplified navigation service
7 February, 2022
The significant mental health needs of new and expectant parents are being addressed through ForWhen, a free navigation service that launched last week.
Delivered by a consortium of early parenting, health, and family services and agencies across Australia, including the Parenting Research Centre (PRC), ForWhen simplifies and enhances the ways in which parents of young babies can access critical mental health support.
ForWhen partner organisations have reported increases of 135% in demand for their services. This reflects expectant and new parents of the pandemic era are contending with a combination of unprecedented challenges.
Until now, parents have been tasked with navigating the complex waters of accessing their mental health care on their own, which, for many, is an impossible challenge when experiencing mental health concerns and the demands of new or impending parenthood.
Parent Gabrielle collaborated on the design of the service, contributing insights from her own journey with postnatal psychosis following the birth of her first child.
“Parenthood is a big transition for so many people. One minute it feels like you’re nailing it, and another minute you might feel the opposite,” she said.
“I’m glad the ForWhen initiative will be available for parents across Australia because it’s important for them to know that they’re not alone, and that this service can connect them to the right support and help them on their journey.”
Janet Williams-Smith, Director at ForWhen said: “Ensuring we have localised care which captures the skills and needs of regional and remote communities as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities is part of our strategy to not only meet this surge in demand, but to address it with the best and most appropriate local expertise, no matter where someone is located.”
Annette Michaux, Director Policy and Practice at the Parenting Research Centre said: “Children thrive when their parents are supported. ForWhen connects parents navigating the complex waters of pregnancy and new parenthood to the critical mental health services that will provide this crucial support.
“Through our involvement in this project we’re ensuring help is parent-friendly, empathic, available and easy to access so that parents get a great response from services when reaching out for early help.
“Our practice design and improvement expertise ensures the latest evidence in effective parenting support informs ForWhen, and that the service continually improves based on service data.”
ForWhen is funded by the Australian Government and is led by a consortium of partners, including Karitane, Tresillian, Tweddle, QEC, Mercy Health, O’Connell Family Centre, Ngala, Child & Family Health Service SA Health, Ellen Barron Family Centre, Figtree Private Hospital, Tasmania Child & Family Health Service, Catholic Care NT, the Parenting Research Centre, and UNSW.
Stephanie Childs, Strategic Communications Manager, Parenting Research Centre