Partnering to support the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents
8 June, 2021
The Parenting Research Centre (PRC) is excited to be part of a consortium awarded a $9.44 million grant from the Australian Government to develop an Australian-first nationally coordinated triage service, focused on the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents.
Led by Karitane, the partnership also includes the Australasian Association of Parenting & Child Health (AAPCH) and The University of New South Wales. PRC will contribute design and evaluation expertise to the initiative to ensure it is drawing on the latest evidence in effective parenting support, and able to continually adapt and improve based on program data.
One in every five mums and one in every 10 dads suffers from perinatal depression and anxiety, with access to support often challenging to navigate. This fragmentation often leads to missed opportunities for early intervention.
The new Connect and Care program will help close the gap in national perinatal mental health care by creating a national consortium of relevant service providers who meet the needs of families seeking support. Through a national helpline coordinated by perinatal healthcare navigators, families and referring health professionals across Australia will be seamlessly connected with the nearest relevant support from a comprehensive network of existing service providers.
Each case will be triaged to ensure support-seekers receive holistic case coordination and location-specific referral pathways. Navigators will be actively supported by a unit of Aboriginal support workers and will operate from AAPCH locations around the country, guaranteeing expansive knowledge of local treatment facilities and options – including those in rural and remote regions and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.