Almost 100,000 Australians experience perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA) every year, equating to one in five mums and one in ten dads. At Stockland Merrylands, we have partnered with Gidget House to support expectant and new parents by opening the first Gidget House in Western Sydney. Gidget House provides free counselling psychological services to parents who are experiencing PNDA, and the partnership aligns with our strategic objective of supporting the health and wellbeing of our customers and communities.
Gidget House employs local psychologists, including specialists proficient in Arabic and Farsi, to help meet the needs of the Merrylands community, which is made of people from more than 120 nationalities. At the opening in August 2018, Stockland representatives joined Gidget Foundation Australia CEO, Arabella Gibson, and Ambassador and former PNDA sufferer, Antoinette Lattouf, to officially open Gidget House with NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, the Hon. Brad Hazzard MP.
Ms Lattouf, a journalist who grew up in Merrylands, said: “It is a really valuable and important service for local families, especially those who would otherwise struggle to pay for specialist psychological counselling. Speaking about mental health issues remains taboo among many different cultural groups and hopefully Gidget House can help to break the stigma with the support of psychologists who have language and cultural understanding,”
Amanda Hayes, General Manager Retail Asset Management and Operations at Stockland, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Gidget Foundation, providing dedicated space for an important support service for families in this growing area of Sydney. For almost 50 years, Stockland Merrylands has been at the heart of the local community, and with some 10 million customer visits to the centre each year, Gidget House can make a real difference in raising awareness and access to services for PNDA.”
Partnering with Gidget House enables us to provide a valuable community service to our customers that enhances health and wellbeing in the community. Community development initiatives driven by local centres such as Stockland Merrylands are integral to our work in creating thriving communities, part of our purpose of creating a better way to live.
Detailed information about our approach to community investment and development, as well as annual reporting against community targets and priorities, visit our Sustainability Downloads webpage.