Late last year, Nathan and I were talking about paving a new direction for the business especially in terms of providing a tangible benefit and giving back to the community of our hometown, Bendigo. We decided that Bendigo Health should be the biggest recipient of our donations given how big a part it plays in our lives. Both our sons were born at the Bendigo Hospital and the care we received during the birth and post-birth were above and beyond our expectations. Our family GP is also from the Bendigo Health and to say that she is exceptionally caring towards her patients would be an understatement. There is usually a skeptical connotation attached to public hospitals and we can’t speak for everyone’s experiences but we have been provided with the utmost care for our entire family, including my parents who are from overseas.
After a few productive discussions, we are so proud to announce that we have partnered with the Bendigo Foundation to direct 5% of our sale proceeds (that’s 5% of the entire proceeds and not just profits) to the Parent and Infant Unit within the Psychiatry Services. This unit supports primary care givers with a psychiatric illness to receive specialist perinatal services whilst staying in hospital with their infant. Mothers who experience post-natal depression will now be able to receive treatment whilst staying in the Parent & Infant Unit with their newborn. Previously this service was only offered out of Melbourne so we’re really proud to be able to support primary care givers in this way. This cause is so close to my heart as my own mother suffered from post natal depression in the 80s, at a time where depression talks and topics were considered taboo or frowned upon. My mum ended up receiving very inadequate care and attention for this serious condition and was also largely misdiagnosed, which resulted in suicidal attempts, extended hospitalisation periods, possible admittance in a mental asylum, and lots of anxiety and distress for both my parents in what should have been a very happy period following the birth of a child.

As a mother, I totally get it and without support, you can feel like the whole world is crushing you.
Mental illness is a serious condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated in early stages. My brother and I have witnessed first hand how such an illness can tear a family apart and how it takes years to rebuild all the hope that was lost during the dismal times. My hope is to do our very best to support mums and dads alike to cope with the overwhelm and anxiety of having a baby.

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