• How do I know if I have perinatal anxiety and/or depression?

    In our collective experience…sometimes you won’t! The nature of anxiety and depression means that it can gradually creep up on you. Sometimes we don’t realise that we have changed, and it is those around us that first notice changes in our mood or personality.

    Members of our network describe it as:

    ‘My husband asked me if I thought I had postnatal depression…I told him ‘I didn’t know what was wrong with me…I just knew I was never going to be happy ever again!’’

    ‘It was only after I burst into tears during my Maternal and Child Health visit that I realised that this was not normal’

    ‘This was my first child…I just thought that this was what being a mother was…’

    If you answer yes to more than one of the following questions, and you have felt this way for two weeks or more, you need to contact your doctor or Maternal and Child Health Nurse for help – it does not have to be this way!

    Have you been:

    … feeling sad, flat or irritable most of the time?

    … feeling tired or having difficulty sleeping?

    … uninterested in food or overeating?

    … losing interest in things you used to enjoy?

    … avoiding people or worried about being alone?

    … unable to concentrate, make decisions or  remember things?

    … having thoughts of  harming yourself, your children or others?

    … worrying excessively?

    … feeling panic or anxiousness?

    Here are some links to good information on perinatal anxiety and depression symptoms:





    I need help now!

  • What services are available to me in Sunraysia?

    You have a number of options for seeking assistance if you live in the Sunraysia region.


    Emergency…Call triple zero (000)
    Call 000 if you are at immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else.

    Help within hours

    If you are worried that you are unable to control thoughts of harming yourself or anyone else (including your baby or children), please use the following numbers without delay and arrange for a friend or family member to stay with you:

    Mental Health Services at Mildura Base Hospital

    T: 03 5022 3500 or  T: 1300 366 375 (cost of local call)



    If you are not at immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else, we recommend that your first step towards seeking assistance is to make contact with your family doctor (GP) or Maternal and Child Health Nurse to discuss how you feel. They may direct you to the following services::

    Perinatal emotional health program

    Primary Mental Health Service, Mildura Base Hospital
    107 Pine Ave, Mildura Vic T: 03 5022 3500

    Assessment and treatment available for antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety. Learn to manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Ask your doctor or obstetrician for a referral. Clinicians based at Mildura and Robinvale.


    Mental Health Services NSW

    Dareton Primary Health, 44/46 Tapio St, Dareton NSW
    T: 03 50217200 or 1800 665 066 (24 hours)

    Assessment and treatment available for antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety for those living in NSW.
    No referral required.


    Sunraysia Community Health Service

    Generalist Counselling Program, Ramsay Crt, Mildura
    T: 03 5022 5444

    Free counselling available. Ring to make an appointment.
    No referral required.


    Tristar Perinatal mental health service

    87-89 Langtree Avenue, Mildura

    T: 0350231200 (Brett McKinnon)
    Private Therapists

    Look in the Yellow Pages under ‘Counsellors’ for private practitioners and see your doctor for a referral to access a private therapist under the Medicare system.


    Panda Helpline

    Post & Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA)
    T: 1300 726 306 (9.am-5.00pm Mon-Fri)

    For phone counselling and support including referral options, advice and follow up.


    See over for ‘Help on the Recovery Journey’…





    Sunraysia Postnatal Depression Support Network inc.

    Peer support  and practical assistance from volunteers who have recovered from PND.  Ask your doctor, Maternal and Child Health Nurse, therapist, or counsellor about how to get referred.


    You can also make contact by FACEBOOK  www.facebook.com/pages/Sunraysia-Post-Natal-Depression-Support-Network/158107417579312


    “You are not alone, you are not to blame, you will get better!”


    Mildura Rural City Council Butterflies Playgroup

    The Mildura Rural City Council runs a regular postnatal depression supported playgroup called ‘Butterflies’. This group is friendly and open to families and caregivers affected by post natal anxiety and or depression. Families with children aged between 0-5 years are welcome.


    Place: Total Learning Centre, Mildura Primary School, Twelfth St Mildura

    Time: Wednesday’s 10.00am – 11.30am

    Contact: Laura Parente on 03 5018 8199 (BH) or 0400 134 879 Mobile if you would like to go along.


    Specific services for indigenous families are also available in Mildura through the Mallee District Aboriginal Services.


    Here are some tips on what might happen when you see your doctor…


    What happens when I call the PANDA helpline?

    Here is some information on treatment options…

  • How do I help my partner/daughter/son/friend?

    It can often be very overwhelming to look after someone who is experiencing anxiety and/or depression. You may feel confused as to how to help, and the nature of the  experience means that you may not get any direction or positive feedback from the person you are caring for. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are caring for someone with perinatal anxiety and/or depression. It can sometimes be a tough job!



  • Do men (dads/ fathers) get perinatal anxiety and depression?

  • I am going to / coming home from a mother and baby
    unit…what do I need to know?

    One of the special challenges of having perinatal anxiety and/or depression in Sunraysia is that you may need to go to either Melbourne or Adelaide to seek specialist help.

    However, when you are discharged the Mother and Baby Unit will make a plan for linking you in with our services in Sunraysia.

    Here is some information from one of our members who has been through this process. We hope it helps you…

    Link to Doc: Coming home to Mildura from a Mother and Baby Unit …


  • How long does it take to get better?

    From our collective experience this differs for everyone, but it can take a few months before you feel like your normal self again. We have found that once you realise what is happening to you and seek help then you have  started the path to feeling better. It also helps to talk about it (ie.  not try to hide what is going on) as it takes a lot of energy to keep the experience of perinatal anxiety and/or depression hidden from those around  you – and it seems to increase the length in time that it takes to get better.

    ‘I found that being more open to my friends and my mother’s group about how I was/had been feeling was very helpful…’


  • I’m going on medication, where do I get more

    Ask your doctor or therapist about any questions you have about medication. You can also  access the Victorian medical centres which provide free advice to the community about medicines, particularly during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. You can access these through:


    Monash Medical Centre

    246 Clayton Road, Clayton VIC

    Mr Rodney Whyte

    E: r.whyte@southernhealth.org.au

    T: (03) 9594 2361


    Royal Women’s Hospital

    Cnr Grattan St and Flemington Rd, Parkville VIC Locked Bag 300

    Ms Yuan Loke

    E: drug.information@thewomens.org.au

    T: (03) 8345 3190


  • How do people cope when they want to have another

    We have members of our network who have happily
    gone on to have other children after experiencing perinatal anxiety and/or
    depression. With good treatment there is hope!


  • How will my PND affect my parenting?

  • How do I get involved with the SPNDSN?

    We welcome all interested people to get involved with the Sunraysia Postnatal Depression Support Network. There are many roles, so we are sure to find something that will make you feel comfortable.

    We have monthly committee meetings…but if that sounds too hard…we also get involved in many events each year. We always need helpers for these!

    Contact us sunraysiapnd@sunraysiapnd.org,au

    Or FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/pages/Sunraysia-Post-Natal-Depression-Support-Network/158107417579312

  • I had PND many years ago when I had my children and it feels like yesterday…

    There are members in our network whose experience of perinatal anxiety and or depression was more than 20 years ago. In times past, PND was not spoken about and so sometimes the experiences of these families were not acknowledged. These members have found it helpful to be part of our network, and to name and acknowledge their PND experience.

    Or FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/pages/Sunraysia-Post-Natal-Depression-Support-Network/158107417579312

  • When is PND Awareness week?

    Postnatal Depression Awareness Week is held each
    year in mid-November. This year it is 17 – 23 November 2013. PANDA runs a
    national awareness campaign running during this week, and we often have local
    activities too. Look out for them in the media and on our Facebook page.

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