PANDA offers the only specialist national perinatal mental health telephone counselling service across Australia, as well as reducing stigma around perinatal anxiety and depression, and providing education services to health professionals and the wider community.
PANDA’s telephone information, counselling, and referral service is staffed by trained volunteers, professional counsellors, and supervising staff. PANDA receives callers concerned about themselves and callers concerned about how someone else is coping either during pregnancy or after childbirth. The desired outcome is that callers feel supported, gain increased understanding of what they are experiencing, and receive information on services and supports in their local areas.
PANDA also has a community education program, where trained volunteers use personal experiences to raise awareness of perinatal anxiety and depression. The program aims to encourage people to seek help early for mental health issues and break down stigma around perinatal mental health.
The organisation also delivers training in perinatal mental health to playgroup and support group facilitators across Victoria. PANDA also supports maternal and child health staff in establishing and maintaining supported playgroups and support groups.
Who is PANDA for?
PANDA is for anyone affected by depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after childbirth, including partners, family members, and friends. Due to PANDA’s considerable experience regarding the lived experience of perinatal mental illness, health professionals are also welcome to call PANDA for secondary consultation about individual patients or with general queries.
Is there a cost to use PANDA?
Calls from a landline will be charged the cost of a local call. Calls from mobiles may be charged at a higher rate.
How to access PANDA’s services
Anyone across Australia seeking support regarding parenthood can contact PANDA via:
- The National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline on 1300 726 306, Monday-Friday 9am – 7:30pm (AEST)
- Visit the PANDA website at https://panda.org.au/
PANDA Research and Evaluation
PANDA’s national perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline was established 5 years ago and a comprehensive external evaluation of the helpline was conducted by the Judith Lumley Centre in 2014.