Tweddle Psychologist Caring for Parent and Infant mental health

Tweddle Psychologist Caring for Parent and Infant mental health


Tweddle Psychologist Jessica Chidgey works closely with families three days a week, either one on one or in groups. Mums and Dads that come to Tweddle are often experiencing a range of mental health and other wellbeing challenges. This can include anxiety, postnatal depression, stress, exhaustion, financial concerns, birth trauma, relationship breakdown, alcohol and substance misuse, isolation, and a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Often a chat with Jessica is the first time a parent has shared personal information with a trained therapist. She is able to connect clients to support services following their residential stay, and help them to feel safe, heard and understood during their time at Tweddle.

Jess started her career as a psychologist working in return to work services, having previously worked in prevention and recovery care programs (PARCs) while studying. She first developed her interest in working with parents and families in 2016 when she started her own family (her first was a poor sleeper!). We spoke to Jess about her career pathway and dedication to families at Tweddle.

When did you start at Tweddle?

I started at Tweddle in January 2018. I have been here almost 4 years, with a short maternity leave in the middle.

What is your role at Tweddle?

My role as the Tweddle Psychologist involves supporting parents with their mental health, coping strategies, and relationship/attachment with their children during admission, and linking in with ongoing community services to support their parenting and mental health. I also provide therapeutic group programs such as mindfulness.

What is your qualification?

I completed my Masters in Counselling Psychology at Latrobe University in 2015 and hold General Registration as a Psychologist with AHRPA.

What does it mean to you to work at Tweddle?

To me, working at Tweddle offers me the opportunity to be a leader in supporting parents and their babies and children in the most critical stage of their development, the first 1000 days. I get to do what I love, with a client group, and know that the work I am doing is having a positive impact on maternal mental health and family relationships for many years to come.

What are you passionate about when it comes to your work?

I am passionate about supporting parents and families to have a positive experience with a psychologist, in order to feel open to engaging in ongoing support. I love that my work allows me to support parents to positively impact the bond and attachment they have with their children, maximising parental coping, and positively impacting infant mental health.

What advice you are asked for most?

How do I get rid of my (insert feeling here!).

Feelings are feelings, they are part and parcel of being human! It isn’t always helpful to get rid of them, as they usually serve some purpose. Instead, I recommend learning to acknowledge our feelings, and engaging with supports if needed to develop new ways of living life, WITH our feelings.

Jess recommends that If parents and carers need support with their baby, toddler or pre-schooler, to always seek support, the earlier the better. You can do that through speaking with the following helplines and organisations;

  • Tweddle 9689 1577 (9-5pm M-F)
  • Maternal & Child Health Line 13 22 29 (24/7)
  • LifeLine 13 11 14 (24/7)
  • MensLine 1300 78 99 78 (24/7)
  • PANDA 1300 726 306  (9am – 7.30pm M-F)
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 (24/7)

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