Analysis

The cost of perinatal depression in Australia

Raising awareness of the impacts of perinatal depression 

This study by Deloitte Access Economics supports the endeavours of the Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA) in raising awareness of the prevalence and impacts of maternal and paternal perinatal depression in Australia, and highlights some of the benefits of PANDA’s services.

Perinatal depression is a mood disorder which encompasses antenatal depression (AND), arising during pregnancy, and postnatal depression (PND), experienced for varying durations over the first 12 months following childbirth. People with AND may go on to experience PND. Similarly, people with PND may not necessarily have also experienced AND during their pregnancy.

Symptomatology of perinatal depression is similar to that for depression generally. Symptoms may be experienced by both the mother (maternal AND/PND) and her partner (paternal AND/PND). The total number of people with perinatal depression in 2012 was estimated to be 96,156, including 71,177 new mothers and 24,979 new fathers.

Amongst other activities, PANDA operate the National Perinatal Depression Helpline (“the PANDA Helpline”), to provide support, advice and referral services for women and men with symptoms of AND and PND (and anxiety). Callers to the PANDA Helpline represent approximately 1-3% of the estimated 70,000 women with perinatal depression or an associated condition and only a handful of the estimated 25,000 men with perinatal depression in Australia. Thus, there may be scope for the PANDA Helpline to reach out to more women and men with perinatal depression.

The cost of perinatal depression in Australia
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