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The Impact of Perinatal Depression & Anxiety on the Workplace
10th November 2019 • Parents At Work Podcast • Parents At Work
00:00:00 00:19:10

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The 10th - 16th of November marks Perinatal Mental Health Week. This week aims to spread awareness about the mental health implications associated with entering parenthood. Nearly 50% of new parents experience adjustment disorders, and from that, 1 in 5 new mothers and 1 in 10 new fathers will suffer from perinatal anxiety and depression. According to an analysis done by PwC Australia, Perinatal Depression and Anxiety is costing Australia $877 million annually. In the first year, $643 million is lost as a result of productivity losses associated with increased workforce exit, absenteeism, presenteeism, and career requirements. Also included in the annual costs is $227 million associated with significant health costs, and $7 million in wellbeing impacts.

In this podcast Emma Walsh, CEO of Parents at Work, and Arabella Gibson, CEO of Gidget Foundation, discuss the impact of perinatal anxiety and depression on the workplace. Arabella emphasises the importance of employers identifying employees who are going through a tough time and supporting them by demonstrating understanding and allowing for more flexible working hours. She also recommends developing strong policies surrounding the support new parents receive at their workplace, in particular setting up regular check-in points starting from when the employee announces they are pregnant. These suggestions aid in helping the employee feel supported and combat those feelings of isolation most people feel when they go on parental leave, making the transition back to work easier, and increasing the chance of spotting any mental health issues early on.

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