Across the globe, October marks Mental Health Month. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge and address the challenges of mental health and start conversations that create lasting change.
For many in our community, there is no more challenging period than that of parenting. When your primary focus is raising young children, it’s easy for your own mental, physical and emotional health to take a backseat.
Georgia’s story: accessing postnatal help in Boroondara
Boroondara mum, Georgia, recently sat down with our Maternal Child Health (MCH) service to share her story and her experience of parenthood.
'Becoming a new mum is like getting a role that you’ve never done before, without a job description and no experience, and you’re expected to hit the ground running. Immediately,' said Georgia.
'Every day felt like a week in the beginning. I was exhausted and I wasn’t able to get anything done that I wanted to.'
Through MCH, Georgia was connected to several educational and social programs, including the MCH Breastfeeding Clinic, the Sleep and Settling Clinic and the Circle of Security.
'These things actually just increased my confidence and then after that it was so much easier. It kind of helped with my sanity,' she said.
For Georgia, part of the benefit of participating in programs like the Circle of Security was finding and connecting with other parents.
'I enjoyed meeting with other mums who were in the same situation as me and I realised I wasn’t the only one to have gone through these challenges,' Georgia said.
Lily’s story: building a community through MCH
Lily reached out to MCH after moving to Boroondara. Her family still lived in China and her son, Ollie, had been diagnosed with a global developmental delay at the age of 4 months. Finding people who understood her parenting journey was a challenge.
Through MCH Lily joined the Mother Goose program, an evidence-based program that helps parents to strengthen attachment and interaction.
'We went every week and [Ollie] was just so happy. The amount of progress that he has made is just phenomenal. He has continued to progress so much more than the Ollie I knew when I got handed the diagnosis,' she shared.
For Lily, the sense of community that she has created through the Mother Goose program has been very important.
“That’s not just us on our own. It takes a village to raise a child. That’s the community that supports us to be strong,” Lily said.
Antenatal and postnatal help is available
Our Maternal and Child Health (MCH) service provides free health and developmental checks for babies and children aged up to 4 years.
We also provide information and advice to new parents on a range of maternal and child health topics.
If you think you might have antenatal or postnatal depression, you are not alone. We have programs available to help you focus on and improve your mental health and wellbeing.
For more information about the programs available, speak to your Maternal and Child Health nurse or call us on (03) 9278 4606 for a confidential discussion.
Counselling and support services
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, there are a range of local support services available. You can find a list of services and resources on our Counselling and mental health services page.
Mental Health Month in Boroondara
The City of Boroondara strives to be a place where community members are valued, feel safe and can actively participate in our community.
In 2021 we renewed the Boroondara Community Plan and asked our community what they valued most in Boroondara. Our community told us that mental health and social connection are important.
Across Boroondara, Council and community organisations are marking Mental Health Month with activities and educational events. View and register for events below.