SHE for PND is a community consumer group formed in October 2004 by a small group of women in the Peel region of Western Australia who were all suffering or had previously suffered from PND.
On their way to recovery, they found writing their personal accounts of their journey through PND to be a helpful and healing experience. By sharing these stories with the local community, SHE for PND hoped to raise awareness of PND and help to alleviate the stigma of depression. In November 2005, Write from the Heart, personal stories of post natal depression in the peel region, was launched by the Hon Jim McGinty MLA, Minister for Health. This 24 page booklet had 10 honest and open accounts of women in the Peel region living and recovering from PND and information about PND itself. Edition 1 has been given to families touched by PND through Midwives, Child Health Nurses and Social Workers in the Peel Region and greater Perth metro area.
SHE for PND were honoured to be nominated for the Gold Swan Award, part of the 2006 Western Australian Citizen of the Year awards by The Hon Dr Sally Talbot MLC, Member for the South West Region.
After successfully distributing all 4000 copies of Write from the Heart, SHE for PND received further funding in 2007 from the Department of Communities and Lotterywest through the Early Years Development Grant. This funding was provided to produce a 2nd Edition of the Write from the Heart booklet with a state wide focus.
Write from the Heart Edition 2, personal stories of post natal depression is a 32 page A5 booklet and includes the following features:
- Nine women’s personal stories of overcoming PND, quotes from other women, men and grandmothers;
- Messages from a GP, Social Worker, Child Health Nurse, Community Midwife and Aboriginal Health Worker;
- Information about PND and antidepressant, counseling, natural and lifestyle treatment options;
- Information on Perinatal Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; and
- Information for partners and supporters of women suffering PND.
10 000 copies of the new booklet have been produced for distribution throughout Western Australia. The booklet is once again free of charge to individuals and all health professionals and their networks for consumer distribution. As a consumer group of four members, SHE for PND have received support from several places in the production of Write from the Heart Edition 2. These include:
- Peel Community Development Group – auspicing funds for the group;
- Zonta International, Peel Region Club – providing mentor and ongoing assistance;
- Susie Perkins, A/Senior Practice Development Officer, Early Years Strategy, Department for Communities – grant writing assistance;
- Dr Ann Hodge, Area Executive Director, North Metro Health Service, Mental Health – foreword;
- Dr Tim Lipscombe, MBBS Dip Obs RACOG – contributor and medical proof reader;
- WA Perinatal Mental Health Unit, including Dr Jon Rampono – contributor to the booklet and medical proof reader;
- Felicity Njoroge, Naturopath; June Foote, Social Worker; Sandra Venables, Child Health Nurse; Lynn Doherty, Community Midwife; and Joanne Camarata, Aboriginal Health Worker – contributors,
- Val Allen, Perth Natural Medical Clinic – medical proof reader.