• How can the Sunraysia Postnatal Depression Support Network assist your clients?

    The SPNDSN provides:

    1. Outreach peer support (providing hope and practical ideas for self help) as well as information for partners, family and friends on how best to help the family affected by peri-natal anxiety and depression.

    2. Practical assistance such as home cleaning and meals (assessed and approved on a case by case basis).

    NB: The SPNDSN is not a substitute for therapy. If you are a GP referring to this service your patients will also need to be referred to a therapist*. The peer support provided by this network complements therapy

  • What is the SPNDSN peer support process?

    A peer supporter will make contact with the referred family within five working days from the date of the referral.

    The peer support process involves:

    1. Initial phone call.

    2. Home visit (conducted by two peer supporters).

    3. Follow up call and or/home visit (assessed on a case by case basis).

    Our SPNDSN peer supporters are provided with tools to assist them and to ensure a consistent approach. These tools have been developed with assistance from the SPNDSN Reference Group (comprising representation from local health care providers) and align with tools used by national and international postnatal depression support groups.

  • Why is peer support important?

    Research shows that peer support interventions help reduce symptoms of depression (Pfeiffer et al., 2011).

    Families with peri-natal anxiety and/or depression want hope. Talking with others who have experienced PND and recovered provides hope and comfort, and reduces stigma and isolation.


  • Who can be referred to SPNDSN?

    Peer support is available to all families in the Sunraysia region who have peri-natal anxiety and/or depression.

    NB: The network will only provide physical one-on-one peer support to recently diagnosed PND patients who are considered stabilised by their practitioner. PND patients who are: about to be hospitalised; suicidal; psychotic; or in any other way considered critically unstable should not be referred to the network until their condition has stabilised.

  • Who can make referrals?

    Referrals for peer support will be accepted from:

    • Psychiatrists;
    • Psychologists;
    • Counsellors;
    • General practitioners

    Self referrals will not be accepted.

  • How do I refer my patients for one-on-one peer support?

    1. Ensure your PND patient is stabilised (see above).

    2. Ask if your patient would like to be contacted by someone from the SPNDSN.

    3. With permission, pass on their details via our web form.

    The following details are required: 1. Name of the person/family referred 2. Contact phone numbers (home and mobile) 3. Your name (as referee) and contact details 4. Any relevant information that may assist a peer supporter (e.g number of children, history of PND etc. GPs should also include who the person’s therapist is and their contact details.)

    We will send you a confirmation email once contact has been made with the referred family.

    NB: Although many General Practitioners and Therapists are not used to making direct referrals via email, our referral process is recommended as (due to the nature of depression) it is often overwhelming for many people with PND to seek out assistance for themselves. We wish to make it as easy as possible for people to access support through our network.


  • How can I be sure my referrals will be managed confidentially?

    Referrals will be managed by the SPNDSN Executive. Confidentiality is a key guiding principle and all referrals will be treated confidentially. The name of the referred family will be provided only to the supporter to whom they are allocated. Where possible, client names are not used in network debriefs.

    Practical assistance is also organised during peer support, and managed on a case by case basis. This support can include: home cleaning assistance.

Referral Form (*Practitioners Only)

  • (if GP making the referral)
  • (ie: ante/post natal anxiety and/or depression)
  • ( please advise if history of violence)


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