Stressed mums need the community’s help

OPINION: Children are dying needlessly in Australia.

The stories break your heart over and over again.

The death of Kiesha Weippeart in New South Wales at the hands of her mother; another woman who was charged with the murder of her two-year-old daughter in Adelaide Hills earlier this year.

Sometimes, such as the case with Kiesha, there are clear signs of problems.

Her mum, Kristi Abrahams, had even had the six-year-old removed from her care for a time because of abuse.

The mum in Adelaide Hills? Catherine Anne Pallin was described as a wonderful mother, her daughter Ayeesha as a beautiful little girl.

In Brisbane, twins slowly starved to death due to neglect.

Their mum had wanted child safety officers to take the babies off her hands, a court heard, because she was aware she wasn't coping.

It's so easy to condemn these women or to look at them as aberrations, women who didn't really love or care for their children.

It's so easy to ignore the evidence of depression and other mental health issues.

How can we provide mums with the right help if they are depressed, stressed out, or unable to cope?

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it seems more often we expect parents, and particularly women, to accomplish the feat alone with little support.

Until we change that, we are going to have our hearts broken again many times.



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