Katie Peterson is a clinical psychologist and Tamworth-based mother who’s passionate about perinatal mental health.
Story + Photo Kate Newsome
It’s morning in the quiet village of Moonbi, just north of Tamworth, NSW, and Katie Peterson has finished her mindfulness meditation. As her partner is dropping off their 2 kids at school and daycare, she is enjoying a moment of peace and quiet before she sees what challenges the day has in store.
Like many others who work from home, the rigmarole of emails, phone calls and online meetings will start at 9am sharp. It doesn’t matter so much where Katie sets down her coffee and cracks open her laptop – whether she’s at her kitchen counter, bedroom nook, or on her living room lounge – those on the other side of her screen know that she’ll be there to help them, wherever they are in Australia.
Offering a unique perspective as a regionally based mother and clinical psychologist, Katie is one of 2 clinical team leaders at Gidget Foundation Australia. Through consultation and supervision, she provides guidance to the foundation’s practising clinicians to help them, in turn, support their allocated clients.
The mission of the Gidget Foundation is to support new and expectant parents across the country. They focus on the perinatal period, from conception through to around 12 months postpartum. It’s a time of unprecedented and innumerable challenges, from changes in lifestyle, identity, hormones and sleep schedules, to potential experiences of birth trauma, isolation and loneliness, health complications, or navigating assisted reproduction or perinatal loss.
Access to specialist mental-health support throughout this period is critical, particularly where risk factors for regional and rural-based Australians – including limited access to services – compounds what is, as Katie says, “already a really hard time”
This story excerpt is from Issue #153
Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2024