Early Years Services
Our commitment to the Early Years focuses on providing services
that improve health and wellbeing throughout pregnancy, from
conception to childbirth and up until a child is four years old.
Drawing on the key strategic theme of early
intervention – providing services at stages in people’s lives
when they can make the most difference to improving health – our Early Years
Services build on St John of God Health Care’s existing expertise
in maternity services and an ongoing commitment to the best care
for babies and families.
The period from conception until the age of four is a critical
time for providing services to children and parents in order to
ensure the best possible start in life.
Our Early Years Services have the capability to address unmet
needs in the early stages of life and we strive to make the most
positive long term impact possible for the health of families with
young children. Based in the community, we ensure that our services
are accessible by providing them free of charge or at minimal
Objectives of our Early Years services
Addressing unmet need in perinatal and infant mental health is a
major area of focus through our Raphael Centres with services in
six locations across Victoria, New South Wales and Western
Australia. The perinatal period refers to the time between
conception and 12 months after childbirth - this is
a key focus area because ten per cent of pregnant women experience
antenatal depression and around one in six women experience
Raphael Centre services aim to improve early detection and
treatment of perinatal mental health issues such as anxiety and
depression in both women and men. These services also provide
parent-infant therapies as we endeavour to improve the long term
mental health outcomes of families in the communities we serve.
Aboriginal maternal and child health outcomes are another key
focus, particularly through the Strong
Family, Strong Culture service operating across northern
Western Australia. This service aims to engage pregnant Aboriginal
women in remote communities with culturally appropriate antenatal
care, and increase awareness of healthy lifestyle choices in this
context as a contribution to reducing the gap between Aboriginal
and non-Aboriginal health outcomes.
In Christchurch, New Zealand, St
John of God Waipuna also provides a range of services to
young parents providing support
and various practical resources. Specific help is also available
for Pacific young parents.
Years Services improve health outcomes.