A new facility in Dubbo aims to stop maternal suicide from being the number one killer of new mums.
On Tuesday, Gidget House was opened. The facility will be based at the Tresillian Western Family Care Centre.
Gidget Foundation Australia chief operating officer Arabella Gibson said Gidget House would provide 10 free clinical psychological sessions for new mums and dads, covering from conception through to 12 months postpartum.
"We cover all sorts of issues people might be experiencing such as still birth, fertility issues, multiple miscarriage as well as simply issues surrounding the journey of parenthood and perinatal depression and anxiety associated with that," Ms Gibson said.
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The service can be accessed with a referral from a GP.
"We have two messages: one is to start talking and one is to start listening, and listening to what's not being said. Try and pick up on the tones and the feeling of the people around you," Ms Gibson said.
"Quite often we think that you need to ask a direct question. You don't need to ask a direct question, what you need to do is identify someone who might be needed that support and just help them get to a GP."
The foundation was started after a woman whose nickname was Gidget.
She had a nine-month-old baby and suffering from undiagnosed postnatal depression when she took her own life.
"Unfortunately, maternal suicide is the number one killer and it's something we need to change. We need to support new parents and new mothers to make sure they have that village feel around them, that they have the support that they need to do the job that they need to raise strong children," Ms Gibson said.
As well as offering face-to-face sessions, Gidget Foundation also has a teleservice option.
"Where there is the ability for people to come in and provide the services face-to-face we do encourage that, but where they might have, for example, multiple births or difficulties travelling through geography or privacy issues, the telehealth services really offer that extra level of support and provide almost a barrier with a screen in the middle," Ms Gibson said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor and Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders were all present for the opening of the facility.
Mr Barilaro said as a father of three daughters he knew firsthand how important it was to have access to a place like Gidget House.
"Everyone's parenting journey is different, but it is critical that young mums and dads have access to help when they need it," he said.
More information on Gidget House is at www.gidgetfoundation.org.au or call 1300 851 758.