In Australia's diverse charity sector, there are thousands of fantastic stories about the impact charities have on their communities.
We recently spoke with registered charity the Gidget Foundation Australia about their programs, their ultimate goal and their most exciting developments.
What does your charity do?
Gidget Foundation Australia is a not for profit organisation that provides programs to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents. We also provide education around perinatal mental health in the community, workplaces and for health professionals.
- Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Screening Program – Pre-admission midwife screening and support for pregnant women at selected hospitals
- Gidget House – 10 free clinical psychological sessions for expectant and new parents in person at North Sydney, Merrylands, Karitane Randwick, North Shore Private and The Mater Hospitals, Queanbeyan, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga and Toowoomba
- Start Talking 'telehealth' program – 10 Free clinical psychological sessions for expectant and new parents via Video Call, available nationally
- Gidget Village - A group therapy program which focuses on the challenges associated with new parenthood and allows participants an opportunity to share their experiences with other expectant and new parents
- Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Workplace Program – Tailored programmes for employees and management to promote engagement and developed strategies for mentally healthy workplaces
- Education, Research and Online – Tools for the community and health professionals.
What is the ultimate goal for your charity – what do you want to achieve?
Gidget was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who tragically took her own life while suffering postnatal depression. She hid her suffering from even her loving family and friends. Together, they created the Gidget Foundation determined that what happened to Gidget would not happen to others.
What is the most rewarding part?
Being able to provide specialised support services to expectant and new parents in need, during some of their most vulnerable times, is at the heart of our work and is something that everyone involved with the Gidget Foundation Australia is deeply passionate about.
What is the biggest challenge faced by your charity?
Nearly 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers will suffer perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA), that’s around 100,000 Australians each year. It is the challenge of reaching this volume of Australians with our support services that drives our work and underpins our fundraising efforts.
What is the most exciting development from your charity recently? (i.e. new projects, milestone celebrations etc.)
The opening of our first regional Gidget House location in Queanbeyan NSW this year, along with our first interstate Gidget House in Toowoomba QLD, have been exciting developments. Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Coffs Harbour NSW are all also due to officially open over the next 12 months. Our Start Talking 'telehealth' program recently achieved the milestone of 1,000 appointment since its launch in May 2018. Being able to support so many parents in need in regional, rural and remote areas nationally is something that we are all very proud of.
How important is the support of donors and volunteers to your charity?
Donors and volunteers are essential to our work, providing the support needed for us to continue to strive to reach the 100,000 Australians affected by PNDA each year. Our donors have been at the heart of our work since Gidget’s family and friends started the Foundation, they have attended our events, given generously to our appeals, donated through their workplaces and consistently rallied with us to support those most in need. Our volunteers have gifted countless hours of their time and efforts in a variety of ways including event support, business expertise, and workplace community days.
Find out more about Gidget Foundation Australia on their website, or via their social media handles:
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