World Maternal Mental Health Day with Gidget Foundation Australia

Helen Evans

iknowho Interview: World Maternal Mental Health Day with Gidget Foundation Australia

Gidget Foundation Australia is an organisation iknowho actively supports. In recent years we have recruited the position of CEO on a pro-bono basis, attended multiple fundraising events and worked to share knowledge of the amazing work they do.

Today is World Maternal Mental Health Day, part of a global campaign to raise awareness of maternal mental health issues and draw attention to essential health concerns for mothers and families.

So, what better time to take some time out for a chat with CEO Arabella Gibson about the foundation and the importance of supporting new parents within our community. 


For those who are not aware of Gidget Foundation Australia, can you let us know a bit about the organisation?

Gidget Foundation Australia is a not for profit that exists to promote emotional wellbeing for expectant and new parents and to raise awareness of perinatal depression and anxiety.

We work with parents, their health providers and the wider community to ensure those in need receive timely, appropriate and supportive care. 


Who is affected by Perinatal Depression and Anxiety?

Across Australia, 1 in 5 new mums and 1 in 10 new dads suffer from perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA). That’s almost 100,000 expecting and new parents each year.

Over 50% of new parents will experience adjustment disorders.


Gidget Foundation Australia PNDA


How does Gidget Foundation Australia support members of the community who may be at risk? 

The Gidget Foundation’s programs include: 

  • Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Screening Programs in hospitals
  • Gidget House, providing free psychological support (10 sessions) for families experiencing emotional distress during pregnancy and early parenthood.

We have Gidget House locations in North Sydney, Merrylands, Randwick, Queanbeyan, North Shore Private and The Mater Hospital.

  • Start Talking, providing free video call psychological support (10 sessions) to parents in regional areas experiencing emotional distress during pregnancy and early parenthood


Where should someone go to get support if they’re concerned for themselves or a loved one?

The Gidget team can help with information about accessing our range of support services on 1300 851 758.

A trusted GP is a wonderful support, as is the PANDA National Helpline 1300 726 306.


Gidget Foundation Australia


What is the organisation aiming to achieve in the next few years?

It is our plan to expand the Gidget House model of care nationally and to continue to reach more regional, rural and remote parents in need so that they can access our Start Talking video counselling service.

We are also working hard to drive awareness of perinatal depression and anxiety, to increase the broader community understanding and to educate expectant and new parents of the symptoms and risk factors.


In what way do you secure funding to support the foundations' work?

Gidget Foundation Australia primarily relies on the generosity of the community and corporate support through our fundraising appeals and events such as the Gidget Ladies’ Lunch and Bun in the Oven.

Some of our funding comes from grants including government grants and other trusts and foundations.


How can our audience get involved with Gidget Foundation Australia? Have you any events coming up?

As Mother’s Day approaches we are asking the community to show their support for the mums who are not ok.

By donating to Gidget Foundation Australia you can help ensure that expectant and new mums in need are able to access the support they need.


Another fun way to support our work is by holding your own fundraising event.