Parenting is probably one of the most difficult careers one can have. It has a great deal of responsibility like any other job in the world. There are countless tasks that need to be accomplished while making sure you’re making things right without expecting something in return. But is there truly a secret to becoming a great parent? maintaining a good bond with your family?  The short answer is no. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, which is one of its distinctive qualities. Building a family, though, requires significant physical and psychological stability.

This second week of November (6th – 12th of November), we are going to celebrate Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Awareness Week which aims to give support to those parents who have been struggling with perinatal mental health issues, and families that are affected by these challenges.

But first, where do Perinatal Mental Health problems start and how is it different from any other mental health conditions? Perinatal mental health problems occur during pregnancy or during the first year after a child is born. While adjusting to the physical changes in your body and managing the demands of raising your child, you experience a series of anxiety, depression, and “baby blues”. Unfortunately, some people who have been affected may not be aware that the symptoms are already present in their lives, mainly because of the lack of understanding of this condition.

It’s easy to assume that this would only affect mums, but when it goes untreated, partners and kids can also suffer significant consequences. Did you know Perinatal anxiety and/or depression symptoms affect 1 in 5 expectant or new mums and 1 in 10 expectant or new fathers? It is saddening and alarming to see these figures and we do not wish to see them increase as the years go by.  So, whether you or someone you know struggles with this kind of mental illness, seek help. Consult a medical professional and join support groups and organizations that could help you understand your situation better.

Here at Pat Dogs Australia, we assist those who are suffer with mental Illness to procure, train and certify psychiatric assistance dogs. These dogs can be a new puppy or even a person’s existing dog, can enter the program to be trained as one of these life changing dogs.

Psychiatric assistance dogs are trained to reduce the impact of specific symptoms for people living with anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions and improve the overall quality of their handlers life. Assistance Dogs trained by Pat Dogs Australia have full public access rights via the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act), which means they can go to the shops, on public transport (buses, taxis, uber trains etc), out to restaurants, hotels, effectively everywhere you can go.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health disorder and feel an assistance dog could help. Please like and share this article and contact Pat Dogs Australia Limited for more information., or if you would like to support our good work, feel free to go to our website and donate (every little bit helps)

If you or someone you know are currently in crisis please call Lifeline on 13 11 14

 #mentalhealthawareness #assistancedog #PatDogsAustralia

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