The organisation Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand (PMHNZ) was established and registered under the Charities Act, 2005 with the aim of eliminating any form of stigma associated with Perinatal Mental Health for women in New Zealand. The concept of PMHNZ was birthed when several representatives numbering about 30 from organisations and agencies connected with Perinatal Mental Health held an educative session in June 2009 at Wellington. The meeting gave every organisation the room to identify their aims and objectives including their interests which further led to the idea of building a great new organisation. Founded on 3 February, 2011, the organisation championed several awareness campaigns, programmes, seminars and also facilitated best practice in Perinatal Mental Health.
Some of the Successful Programmes They Had in the Past
1. Professional Development Seminar
The programme was specially tailored for enhancement of mental health. During the programme, professional support platforms were being created for expectant mothers which included support for victims of mental ill health during pregnancy. The age group in attendance was majorly youths and adults. The referrals were either done by DHB Clinical Services, Self referral or GP. It was held consecutively across these regions- Nelson Marlborough, Canterbury, Wellington, West Coast, North Auckland, East Auckland, Central Lakes, Whanganui, MidCentral, West Auckland, Wairarapa Northland, Central Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Dunedin – South Otago, Southland Lakes, Tairawhiti, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, , South Auckland, Hutt.
2. Information & Support Seminar
The aim of the seminar was to streamline core training on self help, mental health and helpline. Useful information was dispersed to women about pregnancy, perinatal conditions and how to access support services. They were also given free access to telephone contacts in cases of emergency. The target audiences were only adults and it was held all through New Zealand. Referral was done through self referral.
3. Community Events
The series of these events covered mental health and its aim included advocacy, peer inclusion, family whanau and group support. The target audiences were older adults, adults, youths and children. Participants were taught how to aid the society to eliminate stigma within the perinatal mental health cycle in New Zealand. Referral was self and Wellington was the only region it was held.
- They acted as advocates in a bid to provide adequate perinatal mental health services which they achieved in collaboration with other organisations in similar specialty.
- They provided full support for new parents when they created a positive culture of encouragement
- They raised awareness for children affected by perinatal mental distress and illness
- They undertook in depth researches in relation to the experience of families with pregnancies, childbirth or early parenthood
- They offered free education on prevention, treatment and quick recovery process of perinatal mental health illnesses.
- They assisted people with perinatal mental illness and equipped them with information on charity platforms.
Their achievement was huge because they had a great team of professionals like caregivers, educators, researchers, support groups, employers and supporters.