Gidget Foundation would like to share our news and thank you for your support.
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Welcome to our first newsletter

Message from the CEO

Our first Gidget Foundation newsletter provides us with an opportunity to share some of our activities and achievements with our community of supporters. Education and awareness of perinatal anxiety and depression is our mission and therefore much of our work involves speaking at community and professional forums and engaging with the media in order to spread our message more broadly. 

In October I travelled to Paris to present two papers at the International Biennial Congress of the Marce Society International Conference. The theme was 'Taking action around childbirth together' and research was presented from around the world. It was apparent that perinatal mental health care in Australia is of a comparatively high standard but that clinicians throughout the world face similar issues regarding frustrations around funding and policy.

At a recent forum in Cowra we discussed the need to continue to raise the profile of perinatal anxiety and depression.  This is such a common condition, yet, even in 2012 it is still surrounded by misinformation and stigma.  For many women it is a well kept secret and is often surrounded by feelings of guilt and failure, which prevents parents sharing their true feelings. Hence why the Gidget Foundation encourages community members and health professionals to Start Talking!

This year I have been undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact through the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW.  Stimulating and challenging, the course is providing me with a range of tools that can be applied to the organisation of the Gidget Foundation. We are a small but growing organisation with a new Board and a new General Manager that bring with them a wealth of corporate and industry experience to help take the Gidget Foundation forward.

Personal relationships are integral to the success of the Gidget Foundation. We are lucky to have some special relationships with some wonderful people which has led to the formation of a unique community of supporters.


It is a privilege to be surrounded by such inspiring people.

Wishing you all the best for a relaxing Christmas and a happy 2013.


PND Week
18–24 Nov 2012

The Gidget Foundation used the opportunity to raise awareness and "start talking" during Postnatal Depression Awareness Week. Our ambassador Lisa Hensley interviewed Kerryn Baird, the wife of NSW Treasurer Mike Baird, on ABC Radio 702 Sydney. Kerryn shared her personal experience with Post Natal Depression and how she managed to overcome it. The segment was very popular with many listeners calling in to share their thoughts and advice. You can listen to the segment here Kerryn Baird interview.

The Gidget Foundation also ran a community seminar on Wednesday 21st November. In attendance were over 70 health professionals and community members who enjoyed hearing the expert panel being interviewed. The panelists were Dr Vijay Roach (Gidget Foundation Chairman), Cathie Knox (CEO Gidget Foundation), Kerryn Baird, Deborah de Wilde (midwife, social worker and grief counsellor) and Dr Yvonne Scarbek (Perinatal Psychiatrist). Many interesting questions and answers followed the interviews and attendees had a chance to mingle over drinks and canapes.

Other News

Panda Research
A recently released Deloitte Access Economics report, "The Cost of Perinatal Depression in Australia", commissioned by the Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA), states that perinatal depression will cost Australia close to half a billion dollar this year. The report shows that perinatal depression will affect nearly 100,000 new parents in 2012. PANDA report

beyondblue Research
A PwC report commissioned beyondblue also highlighted the huge costs and far-reaching effects of perinatal depression and anxiety. beyondblue report

Some thoughts

The large economic cost of perinatal depression and anxiety further emphasises the need for health professionals to create a safe environment that encourages the disclosure of true feelings.  Through asking the right questions and really listening to what patients are saying, health professionals can make a huge difference. Friends can also be incredibly important during this time.  Through practical support, such as cooking a meal or helping out around the house, to emotional support such as listening without feeling the need to judge or offer solutions.  Friends can also be supportive by encouraging professional help. Perinatal anxiety and depression can be debilitating.  It can also be treated and women and their partners can benefit from good professional help.  The earlier that diagnosis is obtained and help is sought, the less debilitating the condition and the faster the recovery.  Women do get better and families can go on to enjoy fulfilling and happy lives.
For help phone 1300 726 306.


Fundraising Events

Studio 54 Ball 

The Gidget Goes to Studio 54 Ball was a rocking success!! Elvis was joined by many other supporters and raised nearly $150,000 for the Gidget Foundation. Duncan Overton did a fantastic job auctioning off the prizes and we are extremely grateful for the generosity of all the guests.

The speakers included Gidget Foundation Patron, Lisa Hensley who kicked off the night with great style, Gidget Foundation Chairman, Dr Vijay Roach and Michael Coffey from Karitane who welcomed the guests, special guest Emma Whalen who spoke about her positive experience with the screening program at North Shore Private Hospital and an incredibly moving speech from Gidget's best friend and Gidget Foundation Board Member, Jarrod Bowditch. Thanks also to our MC Richard Wilkins and the exceptional performance from Carmen Smith.

Surfhour Challenge

The inaugural SURFHOUR CHALLENGE will be held on 9-10 March 2013. To be involved you simply need to dedicate an hour of your time in the water or set yourself a challenge and have people sponsor you to achieve your goal. Any form of wave riding is encouraged - surfing, stand up paddle boarding, boogie boarding, body surfing, surf life saving, nippers and paddling. There will be prizes offered and money raised will go the Gidget Foundation and to SurfAid International. For more information see Surfhour Challenge website. Get sponsored or make a donation - make your surf count!


Thank you!

2012 City to Surf and Half Marathon fundraisers
A great effort by Darren Marney and Roland Walker who both ran in the City to Surf this year and to Danielle Wright who competed in the Half Marathon. Thank-you for choosing to raise money on behalf of the Gidget Foundation!

Pop & Shop Event
A big thank-you to Michelle, Sarah and all the girls that attended the Pop & Shop event in Carss Park on 2 November. A total of $394 was raised for the Gidget Foundation from the raffle ticket prize draw.

Women on Boards
The Gidget Foundation is one of two charities being supported this year by Women on Boards, which is an organisation that seeks to improve the gender balance on Australian boards. Women on Boards have been raising funds for the Gidget Foundation at the 2012 Think Women Learning with Leaders Breakfast Series.

What we've been up to

Emotional Wellbeing Program at North Shore Private Hospital

From its commencement in April 2011, The Emotional Wellbeing Program at North Shore Private Hospital has established new benchmarks in antenatal care.  Grounded in evidence based research it has been well received by mothers and the midwives involved. The program aims to provide all women who are booked to give birth at North Shore Private Hospital with an interview with a trained midwife in order to discuss their emotional health.  Over 1,200 women have taken part and have been provided with the necessary resources to support them throughout the journey into motherhood.  Obstetrician, Dr Rachael Hickinbotham is evaluating this program, and together with Dr Jane Kolhoff their findings will be added to the growing body of research in the area of screening and assessment for perinatal anxiety and depression.


At the Gidget Goes to Studio 54 Ball, Emma Whalen described her positive experience with the Emotional Wellbeing Program; “I think that the screening program has been an essential part of my pregnancy care. It was a support I didn’t even know or think I would need. It was comforting knowing that I had someone to contact for more emotional help during my pregnancy, when I was in hospital and then when at home”.

This program has also demonstrated the need for a referral centre on Sydney’s North Shore.  Our next project is the development of Gidget House which will provide a one stop shop for the referral of pregnant women, mothers and families who will be helped by perinatal health professionals such as psychiatrists, pshychologists, child and family health nurses.  We are currently raising funds to enable the establishment of this centre with the support of Karitane.


Tresillian scholarships

Our long term relationship with Tresillian was again reconfirmed with the presentation of the ongoing Gidget Foundation scholarship at the Tresillian AGM in November. This scholarship enables Tresillian nurses to study the certificate of adult mental health at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry. This year there are two successful recipients, Liz Sheilds and Judi Tripodi.


Baby and Toddler Show Sydney

For the second year running, the Gidget Foundation was invited to participate in the Advice Hub at the Baby and Toddler Show held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre in September.  We were represented by a number of our professional volunteers including midwife Katrina Crawshaw and obstetrician Vijay Roach. Thank-you to all those who visited our stall and we hope that you found our information helpful. Thanks also to Baobag for donating the bags full of goodies and information and congratulations to Juliana Taniaty who won the the Baobag Hamper.

You can help raise the profile of perinatal anxiety and depression by making a single donation at any time. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. 
  • A donation of $20 will enable us to provide 40 informative leaflets to attendees at our next public speaking event 
  • A donation of $30 will allow us to provide a free copy of our DVD "Behind the Mask: The Hidden struggle of Parenthood" to interested parents
  • A donation of $70 will cover the cost of providing a midwife to conduct antenatal screening for perinatal anxiety and depression
We are in the process of setting up an online donation facility but for now please click here to download a donation form.

Thank-you for your support!
Copyright © 2012 Gidget Foundation, All rights reserved.
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