PANDAS recognises the severity and criticalness of identifying signs and symptoms of all perinatal mental health illness. They discourage their service users and society from using the term ‘baby blues’ as it can be a dangerous assumption of something more urgent that requires immediate medical care.
PANDAS know that 1 in 10 women will experience pre natal anxiety and depression, and 1 in 3 will go on to develop postnatal depression. Signs and symptoms can include, low mood, panic, feelings of a ‘lack of bond’ between parent and child and deep sadness.
Often the ‘crisis’ benchmark for mental health support is often too late for peer to peer support networks such as PANDAS to be able to offer full advice and signposting. Emphasis on the six week post partum mother and baby check should also have a strong focus on mental health assessment and support.
PANDAS encourages parents to seek support from any network they may have in terms of physical help, or to talk about how they feel.
Stigma around mental health and perinatal illness is lessening with gratitude to the very brave parents who come forward during and after recovery to speak about seeking help.
PANDAS foundation supports thousands of parents each year with their feelings and offers empathy, hope and direction forward. They provide free support services for every parent and their networks who maybe feeling alone and confused by the expectation or reality of parenting.
They provide a helpline service available 9am-8pm Monday to Sunday. Email support and social media motivation. PANDAS offer positive advice and signposting and provide a closed facebook group for parents who are struggling.
They have created a safe community that is monitored, supported and managed mainly by trained volunteers aiming to improve the quality of lives of parents who may be experiencing a spectrum of emotions. Keeping their community positive, safe and open to awareness.
PANDAS believe that some representations of ‘parenthood’ within the media are unrealistic and do not support the reality of becoming a parent and maintaining adult identity whilst raising a child.
Each year pandas run #PNDAW19 campaign, focusing on empowering and supporting parents struggling with pre and postnatal depression. They rely on donations to keep going as have no NHS or grant support. PANDAS pre and postnatal awareness week will be up and coming on 2nd – 8th September 2019 where they will host a variety of topics, guest appearances, coping mechanisms and empowerment.
If you would like to fundraise for them during or before this week please contact Kerry.thomas@pandasfoundation.