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Experts come together for Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Awareness (PNDA) Week

Raphael Services Ballarat partners with Western Victoria Primary Health Network to host the first perinatal and infant mental health conference in Ballarat 

Big Pram Walk 2017

St John of God Raphael Services, which offers specialised perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) support and treatment, will host the first Grampians Perinatal Infant Mental Health Conference in Ballarat on Saturday 18 November; during Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week (12 – 18 November). 

Dr Harish Kalra, Clinical Director for Raphael Services Ballarat said this was the first time the region would host an event specifically for health professionals to discuss emotional wellbeing issues, trends and practices in relation to new or expecting parents. 

“This is a significant step towards greater collaboration of PIMH agencies across the Grampians region.  

“The conference will bring together experts from across the field to share insights, practice and research to encourage change, better care and reduce community stigma linked to the illness,” he said. 

Professor Bryanne Barnett AM, Clinical Director for Raphael Services New South Wales and one of the conference keynote speakers, has published extensively in this field. She is a tireless advocate for early intervention, prevention and health promotion to reduce the effects of PIMH. 

“Being pregnant or becoming a parent brings so many new challenges; psychological, social and physical. 

“Providing the right support and treatment for parents experiencing anxiety and depression is crucial to a healthy parent-infant relationship and the family as a whole,” she said.  

“This event provides a great opportunity for like-minded professionals to collaborate and integrate to support the emotional health and wellbeing of parents and families in our communities.” 

With an impressive line-up of speakers the event is expected to attract a number of GP’s, mental health nurses, maternal and child health nurses, obstetricians and allied health professionals.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Vijay Roach, Vice-President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Chairman of the Gidget Foundation
  • Catherine Knox, Director of the Gidget Foundation
  • Professor Anne Buist, Professor of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne
  • Dr Jane Fisher, Jean Hailes Professor of Women’s Health, Monash University
  • Conjoint Professor (UNSW) Bryanne Barnett AM, Clinical Director for Raphael Services New South Wales.

The event has been accredited for 40 Category 1 points as part of the RACGP QI&CPD Program in the 2017-19 Triennium. Activity number: 112270.

To register visit the Western Victoria PHN website