Family First is welcoming a new online service aimed at supporting mums suffering from post-natal depression www.mothersmatter.co.nz
According to an Auckland University study released in June this year, New Zealand has one of the highest rates of post-natal depression in the world. It is estimated that nearly a third of all kiwi mothers suffer the baby blues.
“This service is a practical way that we can support and strengthen parents who are experiencing the huge pressures and stresses associated with having a new-born baby,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Rather than taking the heavy-handed punitive approach towards parents that politicians and the Children’s Commissioner want to, this is a practical way of working with parents, rather than against them, and supports parents at a particularly difficult and vulnerable time.”
“If we are serious about lowering our rate of child abuse, we must provide services which support and strengthen parents, rather than just telling them what they can’t do.”
A study by the American Psychological Association found that children whose mothers experienced postpartum depression have an elevated risk of exhibiting violent behaviours. And a 2003 study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry found that women that received telephone support experienced significantly fewer depressive symptoms than those who received no support.
“This new service is a huge step in the right direction. We now need to ensure that home-based services such as HIPPY and Plunket and other local community programmes are resourced to meet the demand that this online service will generate,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Ultimately we need to make it as easy and accessible as possible for parents to receive the help they desparately need.”