Note to self: Exercise more caution when discussing organised religion, taxing the churches and the pros and cons of religious charities on public social media when you are applying for work with organisations with religious backing.
Or, just be glad you got that out of the way before you were hired, put your foot in it and faced disciplinary proceedings or getting sacked for voicing your views… because you know it’d happen.
I went to a fabulous long lunch at The Bach Eatery in Newtown. The event was for the start of PNDA (Perinatal Depression and Anxiety) Awareness Week (November 15-21). Ten ladies lunching over the “Trust the Chef” menu ($45/head or $55 with dessert), listening to some amazing women who have been through anxiety and depression brought on by, or exacerbated by, the birth of their children.
Freshly Shucked Sydney Rock Oysters & NZ Cloudy Bay Clams w/Chardonnay Vinegar
Pino’s Charcuterie tasting plate
Cuttlefish, peperonata, squid ink dressing
Salt Cod Croquettes w/ Kaitaia Fire Mayo
You may have noticed that this year there has been a name change to Perinatal Anxiety and Depression (PNDA) Awareness Week. This change is in response to the importance of including two words:
Perinatal – Supporting parents’ mental health throughout the perinatal period (during pregnancy and after birth). We need to consider a parent’s wellbeing across this continuum, rather than viewing these periods as separate. Anxiety – Now believed to be just as, if not more, common than depression. Symptoms of anxiety vary, however they can be just as debilitating as depression
The stories I heard yesterday and from my networks of family and friends have certainly highlighted to be the absolute terror some new parents feel upon the arrival of bub. And the isolation they feel, all the while putting on a “brave” face.
The SHINING star of our dishes – Papparedelle w/wild mushroom ragout & slow cooked egg. I kept going back for more!
Flank Steak w/ homemade “chups” & Red Wine Sauce
16 Hour Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder w/ eggplant, roasted heirloom carrots & mint almonds – So melt in the mouth!
Chatting to the others about what some signs might be that a new mum (or dad) is struggling, Amy pointed out that the words “When did you stop breastfeeding?” from one new mum were often a red flag to say she’s struggling with something. It could just be with the feeding, or the question of when to try a bottle or solids, but it can also flag deeper issues around how Mum and bub are travelling.
Kiplers & Kumara w/ fried chili, garlic and Rosemary
And encouraging family and friends to check in with the new mums and dads in their lives, getting them out of the house, having a meal or a coffee, and a chat.
But also to host a “Lunch Out Loud” to raise funds and awareness to support people with Perinatal Anxiety and/or Depression. Information and ideas to host your won Lunch Out Loud are available here :)
Five easy steps to enjoying your Lunch Out Loud
1. Set the date- PNDA Awareness week is officially from Nov 15-21, however you can hold your event anytime during November and December.
2. Invite guests- Invite as many people as your venue can handle- at home, in a restaurant/café or at work.
3. Use social media- Facebook is a great way to promote and plan your Lunch Out Loud. Set up and event page, invite your guests and keep them updated in preparation for your event.
4. Collect funds- you can accept donations, hold a raffle, charge an entry donation, hold a bake sale- the possibilities are endless!
5. Most importantly, have FUN – At PANDA we hear every day that parenthood is tough; friendship and support are a great first step in this unique journey.
Hokey pokey brulee (OMG. GET THIS!)
Pavlova in a glass
“Jelly Tip” w/ white chocolate mousse
Funds raised from Lunch Out Loud support PANDA, which offers counseling through a free National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline, information, and referral services with ongoing telephone support for families throughout Australia.
PANDA’s Helpline: 1300 726 306 (operates Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm EST). Lifeline: 13 11 14
I know many people are past the point of mental health “awareness” and just want something to be done.
Personally, I watch docos like the ones that have been on the ABC this week out of personal (as a patient) and professional (as someone who work/ed/s in the field on mental health and disability) curiousity and interest. Rather than as inspiration porn or freakshows.
Last year I learned more about modern electroshock therapy, and how it’s not the barbaric practice it used to be.
This year, I only watch the comedy show #crackup at the end of Mental As.
Apparently up to 14% of the pop have or have had personality disorders (Like Borderline or Antisocial or Avoident PD), however they didn’t rate a mention (depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia are the go at the moment). Post-natal depression is also an area I’m used to hearing about that didn’t get a peep tonight. Nor eating disorders!
It brings Spring, and flowers, and blossoms and fairies.
But not everyone is in that good of a place all the time.
We have our moments. Whether we rage, or cry, or just dissolve.
Some people have worse moments. And need outside help.
One of the ways to get that is through Lifeline. Lifeline is a charity that provides some telephone counselling services for those at crisis or suicide point. They also have an online option for those needed to talk things out through chat.
So, they need money
One way is through Liptember – an excuse for girl who are a little loopy like me to pucker up in all sorts of colours to talk people into helping this important service.