Having a baby is the time when a woman is most at risk of developing mental health problems. Every year over 96,000 Australian mothers and fathers experience depression and anxiety that develops during pregnancy and/or in the first year of their baby's life.
- These conditions are common: One in 10 women experience depression alone in pregnancy, and this increases to one in seven following birth.
- These conditions are serious: mental health problems are the leading cause of maternal death and disability in Australia.
- Parents are facing this alone: Low awareness of symptoms and high stigma means many women (and men) are not getting the help they need.
- The impacts are widespread: Fathers are also at increased risk of becoming distressed at this time. In turn the cognitive and emotional development of infants and children can be seriously compromised by their parent's emotional and mental health.
- The impacts are long-lasting: If not detected or treated, the negative impact on childhood health, growth and development can span throughout childhood, adolescence and even into adulthood - ultimately affecting our future generations.
Who are we and why are we collecting funds?
The significant personal, social and economic costs (well in excess of $500m per year) highlights urgent need to reduce these impacts on families and the community. To do this COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence has been established to give a national, dedicated focus to reducing the burden of perinatal mental health in Australia.
How will the funds be used?
COPE is a not for profit organization that works with health professionals, corporate and not for profit organisations and the community to reduce the debilitating impacts of these conditions.
Our dedicated programs:
- Equip health professionals with knowledge, skills and confidence - so that they can provide timely, safe and effective care.
- Support world-leading research - to enhance practice, inform policy and services.
- Significantly improve awareness and understanding - so mental health conditions are identified early.
- Stop the stigma - so people feel ok to speak up and seek help.
- Encourage and empower people - by providing access to high quality, evidence-based information and guide people to effective care.
- Provide a voice (advocate) - to represent the needs of women and their families.