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Hello, I am Alex May,

a researcher dedicated to understanding and improving perinatal mental health, a passion born from my personal journey through motherhood. As a new mother, I experienced the incredible joy and profound challenges of raising a newborn. The sleepless nights and isolation, compounded by a lack of peers with similar aged children, were overwhelming. 

Now a single mum of two wonderful boys, aged 2 and 4, I have navigated the relentless demands and transformations of motherhood. This personal metamorphosis inspired me to research women’s mental health, with the knowledge that new mothers still urgently need help, and there’s not enough being done to support them during this time.   

With funding from the Holly Thredgold Scholarship and Breakthrough, our research team has achieved significant milestones. This could not be achieved without the support of people like you. 

The research funded by you

Our first major study has been published in the prestigious Archives of Women’s Mental Health. This study showed that we are lacking enough reliable information to properly help mothers manage their emotional ups and downs during and after pregnancy. Demonstrating these gaps scientifically is crucial for advocating more urgent and thorough support for new mothers. 

We are equally thrilled that our second study is under consideration by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, a leading journal in the Asia-Pacific region. This research builds on our initial findings by exploring potential antenatal screening measures and providing insights for clinicians dealing with complex trauma in expectant mothers. 

Over the next few years, our team will undertake a groundbreaking initiative in South Australia. We will screen thousands of mothers during pregnancy using advanced digital technology through the Centre of Perinatal Excellence. This large-scale screening aims to highlight the prevalence of mental health struggles among new mothers, offering data to inform future support systems. 

Then, we will be doing something which has never been done before, we will be following up on obstetric and birth outcomes, tracking the wellbeing of mothers post-delivery. This research will provide insights for obstetricians, psychiatrists, and other healthcare professionals, enabling them to offer better support and care for mothers. 

We will also engage directly with mothers who faced mental health challenges during the perinatal period, gathering their feedback to refine and develop guidelines for early interventions for at-risk mothers. This inclusive approach ensures that our research is grounded in real experiences, addressing the actual needs of mothers. 

Why I did this

The metamorphosis of motherhood is a journey that too often leaves women struggling in silence. My personal experience, combined with our research, highlights the urgent need for comprehensive support and early intervention for new mothers. 

We cannot afford to lose another mum to the silent battle of postnatal depression. Through the Holly Thredgold Scholarship, we are driving vital research and developing effective strategies to support mothers during this vulnerable time.  

But there is much more to be done and the time to act is now. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. 

Alex

Frequently asked questions

Your donation will fund evidence-based research to better understand what causes mental illness within our children, how to reduce its impact, and ultimately prevent mental illness. Thank you for your support.

All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. 

Individuals like yourself contribute in creating a meaningful positive impact on lives who suffer from mental illness. Our dedicated supporters can donate either weekly, monthly or annually. This can be automatically processed through credit card transactions or direct debit, This ensures with regular support we can create a life free from mental illness.

See our latest impact report and how your generous donations have helped make advances in mental health research.