Perinatal classes to be cut
GOVERNMENT FUNDING ENDS
This class is like my family … You don’t know just how much it’s helped me … It’s for mothers who are suffering from anxiety, depression or postnatal depression.
AN URGENT call for increased perinatal depression support has been made by a group of mothers, whose service will be cut at the beginning of November.
The desperate plea came from mother Renee Harrison, who is undertaking the UnitingCare Burnside Perinatal Wellbeing Program, based in Bidwill.
“We got told that our class had to be cut because of funding reasons,” Ms Harrison said. “It’s typically for mothers who are suffering from anxiety, depression or postnatal depression.
“You don’t know just how much it’s helped me.”
Data from the 2010 Austra-
– RENEE HARRISON
lian National Infant Feeding Survey reveals one in five mothers of children aged 24 months or less had been diagnosed with depression.
More than half of these mothers reported their diagnosed depression was perinatal (depression diagnosed from pregnancy until the child’s first birthday).
The therapeutic support group is provided over a 12month period.
“This class is like my family,” Ms Harrison said.
“The course encouraged me to sign up to a community services diploma at Evocca College.” Ms Harrison said there was a petition to save the course.
“If this service is taken away we need another one like it,” she said.
UnitingCare Burnside acting director Liz Sanders said it was a difficult decision to cut the perinatal class.
“The decision has not been made lightly and comes in the knowledge that UnitingCare will be unable to at- tract government funding now that the Department of Health in NSW has announced that it is rolling out its own perinatal program called Sustaining NSW Families,” Ms Sanders said.
She assured unconditional support would be given to those mothers affected by the change.
Lisa Bartulis, with baby Levi, and Renee Harrison, with Joshua, love the support of the perinatal classes.