Having a baby brings a wide array of emotions. Recognising this, Gidget Foundation Australia has developed the Gidget Village Group Treatment program, supported by Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury and the Sydney North Primary Health Network.
Gidget Village is free and offers weekly two-hour sessions conducted over eight weeks, facilitated by Gidget Foundation Australia perinatal mental health clinicians. Each session has specific themes helping new parents manage symptoms associated with perinatal depression and anxiety using evidence-based therapy. The program also includes a session for partners only to attend and a further two sessions, to which Mums and partners are invited to attend together.
Through the program, parents will increase their understanding of themselves and their baby and learn ways to cope with the changes, challenges and demands of parenthood. It also gives parents the opportunity to share their experiences with each other.
What are the benefits of a group program?
- Decrease isolation and reduce stigma
- Offer a safe place to share feelings and fears without judgement
- Increase social supports
- Promote a more realistic view of motherhood
- Enable distribution of resources and information about PNDA
- Gives partners an opportunity to understand PNDA and learn ways to get much needed support themselves too
- Promote healing by offering support to both parents, finding ways to enhance connection with each other and with their babies, and in dealing with areas of potential conflict
- Practical, hands on environment promotes discussion / support and homework activities that apply to real life
- Provide a compassionate and accepting space to practice new skills and coping strategies
- Evidence-based therapies
What topics are covered in the group program?
- Myths of motherhood
- Stress, sleep & relaxation
- Connections with others, communication, and attachment
- Parenting styles
- Navigating new roles
How do I participate in the Gidget Village Group Treatment Program?
Currently Gidget Village is only available for clients who are currently being supported by a Gidget Foundation Australia Clinician, or who have been referred to Gidget Foundation Australia through Lifeline.
- Live, work or study within the geographical boundaries of the Sydney North Primary Health Network (see map)
- Pregnant or have a baby less than 12 months of age
- Be assessed by a Gidget Foundation Australia Clinician to be clinically suitable to participate within the group
- Be able to attend all sessions, including the partner sessions
- Have a reliable internet access & willingness to participate in the group online, if necessary. (Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Gidget Village may be facilitated using telehealth)
If you are interested in participating in a Gidget Village treatment group, please talk to your Gidget Foundation Australia Clinician, or contact us on 1300 851 758 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback from Gidget Village participants:
The facilitators are all excellent, very knowledgeable and empathetic.
The partner sessions reminded us to communicate and share feelings with our partner.
Gidget Village allowed me to share my experiences with PNDA and I learned strategies to cope with stressful situations and uncomfortable feelings.
I’d like to express my gratitude for the group and for the coordinators for their time. I learned so many practical skills from the sessions which I will be able to use in my life as a new mum.