Karitane's Parent and Baby Day Unit opened in 1996. Jade house is a specialised day stay and counseling unit for women who have a diagnosis of, or who are at risk of developing, a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, and are pregnant or have a baby up to 12 months of age.
The following services are provided:
- Individual and couple supportive therapy
- Sessional psychiatric services
- Day stay
- Parentcraft & child development information
- Mother, Infant Therapy Groups
- Anxiety Management Group
- Postnatal Issues Group
- Prescription and monitoring of medications if required
Referrals may be made by a range of health care professionals including General Practitioners, family care cottages, Early Childhood/Primary Health Nurses, Psychologists and community health services. The service is for women and their families living within the Sydney South West Area Health Service (SSWAHS).
Staff in this unit includes Registered Nurses with specialist qualifications, Enrolled Parentcraft Nurses, Psychologists and Psychiatrists. Clinical support is provided to the unit by the SSWAHS Perinatal Mental Health Service, under the direction of Professor Bryanne Barnett.
Day Stay Program
Jade House clients have access to our Day Stay facility which provides support and education from two mothercraft nurses. Education and intervention is provided for many mothercraft issues such as: Sleep and Settling, Feeding, Mother-Infant Interaction.
Many mothers are also often very sleep deprived and when necessary, we can provide a bed for our clients to get a little sleep while their baby is cared for nearby. The aim of our work at Jade House is to support parents to care for their baby so this means helping parents to be in a state of optimal physical and emotional health. Quite often Dad's, Grandmothers or other important people come to Day Stay with Mum's and their baby.
At times women bring craft or other activities (such as mending or simple sewing) to catch up on whilst in day stay and they network with other women in this supportive, homely environment.
Anxiety Management Group
This enjoyable 10 week programme is run twice a year at Jade House. The group program teaches people to manage their symptoms of anxiety in a format specifically developed for women during the perinatal period. The group is open to clients of Jade House who have problems with anxiety before or after the birth of a baby. Childcare is provided onsite. The programme includes: education about anxiety and the fight/flight response; education and practice in regard to relaxation techniques; assertiveness training; relapse prevention, and; facing your fears. There is a 2 week break between weeks 9 & 10 to try out new skills in managing anxiety and then women meet again in the supportive environment to talk about how their practice went.
Some feed back we have received from women who have attended the group includes:
"I enjoyed the peer support. It was a friendly and safe environment to express my feelings",
"I realised that I was not alone or different from other people"
The Mother-infant group is a place for Mums and infants to get to know each other and for Mothers to discover the often hidden world of their infant. There are three groups held each year where Mums and babies meet once per week for eight weeks. The group provides support and space for the relationship between a woman and her baby to grow.
Some comments made by mothers who have completed previous mother-infant groups are:
"At first I thought, how can this possibly help me? But it really made a difference to our relationship and I really enjoy her now".
"I am so busy and found it a struggle to make time for the group. In the beginning I would have preferred to be doing the housework. I am so glad now that I made the time for him because now I feel I know him so much better".
Postnatal Issues Group
The postnatal issues group is provided for up to 8 women. The group runs over 9 weeks and is conducted at various venues in the Sydney South West Area on a rotating basis. The group covers topics related understanding and managing post natal depression with an emphasis on both the causes and roads to recovery through physical, emotional and social/relationship pathways. Women take an active role in participating to support each other and the learning process and fathers included in one session.
For more info on Postnatal Depression
watch the Podcast: