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Support for Parents in Shellharbour

2021-05-27

Karitane in collaboration with the Gidget Foundation have officially opened at the Community Room at Stockland Shopping Centre in Shellharbour on May 25th

This new service offers free consultations with Karitane child and family health nurses and individual perinatal psychological counselling services with Gidget House. Karitane is committed to supporting parents and providing access to rural and remote families. This year we have supported families from over 1,025 postcodes across NSW through opening new locations in regional areas including Shellharbour, Shortland and Taree and expanding our virtual services to ensure all parents have access to support.

Grainne O’Loughlin, CEO of Karitane said, “being a parent is one of the most important jobs, it's exciting and it's challenging. The first 2,000 days of a child's life shapes their future and we provide free services to families in this critical time around sleep and settling, feeding, routines and toddler behaviour. We are excited to be expanding the Karitane and Gidget Foundation Australia collaboration.”

"A lot of intensive support services are very metro-centric so it's really important to us to look and explore the regional areas of NSW and to offer them our services too.”

This new service has been endorsed by the Minister for Mental Health. Women and Regional Youth, the Hon. Bronnie Taylor MLC.

The Hon. Bronnie Taylor MLC, said “there can be no doubt that babies are a blessing, but when a baby arrives it can also be one of the most challenging times in a mothers of fathers life.

“Sometimes we can forget that it can be a stressful, lonely and overwhelming time caring for a newborn. I acknowledge the wonderful staff from the Gidget Houses; they are passionate about helping families in their hour of need and I’m proud to be part of a government that supports Gidget Foundation Australia,” she said. 

Michelle Abbey, General Manager of Retail at Stockland, said “we’re pleased to partner with Gidget Foundation Australia and Karitane to provide specialised support services to our customers and the broader community in such an important time of need.”

Gidget Foundation Australia CEO, Arabella Gibson, said, “speaking about mental health issues remains really difficult among those living in regional and rural communities and hopefully Gidget House Shellharbour can help to break the stigma, particularly with our perinatal psychologists who have local understanding. This free service, will help local families who would otherwise struggle to pay for specialist counselling.”

As featured in the Illawarra Mercury - Karitane Gidget House, a free service for struggling new parents opens in Shellharbour

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