Radiance Network South West

Radiance Network South West

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Project Name: Perinatal Wellbeing Peer Support and Advocacy
Received: $49,828 from a total project cost of $94,055
100 Women funds will cover the salary, equipment and travel costs for an in-home support worker.

Who is the organisation and what is their mission?
The Radiance Network is a perinatal mental health community organisation providing non-clinical wellbeing support for families experiencing perinatal mental health vulnerabilities in the South West regions of Western Australia.

What is the project that the 100 Women grant will support?
The ‘Perinatal Wellbeing Peer Support and Advocacy’ pilot project will run for 18-months, offering early intervention support to women facing perinatal mental health issues in the communities of Collie, Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River. The project will focus on building resilience and enhancing the emotional wellbeing of new parents in order to strengthen mother-baby bonds, family dynamics and social connection.

This support provided through the project will include:

  • 1:1 consultations available at-home, at a Radiance Network venue and/or via online and telephone;
  • Guidance to create a self-directed ‘living’ recovery plan;
  • Access to Radiance Network peer support groups and the ‘Mother, Baby, Nurture’ program.

Who is the project for? Who else will benefit?
The project will directly benefit 80 women and their children. It is estimated that a further 160 family members will indirectly benefit from this project.

Why is the project needed?
One in five mothers experience perinatal depression, anxiety or adjustment disorders, and a small percentage of these also suffer from psychosis and suicidal thoughts. The isolation that often accompanies the perinatal period can also serve to exacerbate these mental health issues. Left untreated, perinatal mental illnesses can have extremely negative short and long term effects on women and their families.

Early intervention and individualised support services have been shown to decrease isolation, alleviate symptoms and create an environment for better outcomes. However, many new mothers lack the knowledge and resources to find and engage with these services.

What are the planned outcomes for the project?
Participants in the project are expected to experience:

  • Increased resilience, self-esteem and self-motivation;
  • Strengthened mother-baby bonds and improved parental confidence and coping skills;
  • Improved satisfaction with family and relationship dynamics;
  • Increased engagement in social activities and community services;
  • Improvements in healthy lifestyle choices, including diet, exercise, hobbies, work and self-care.

An evidence-based research document will be developed over the course of the project to monitor impact and outcomes.