Becoming a parent can change your perspective on the world and bring strong emotions to the surface. 

It can also prompt you to look within, to turn to the example that was set for you as a child. 

And if you have a complicated relationship with your own parents – or they’re not around – who do you turn to when you start wondering “Am I going about this the right way?” 

Chris Jephcott found himself facing the prospect of becoming a dad at the same time he was losing his own.  

His partner Suzi Garden fell pregnant early in their relationship, and although they were excited, they were also nervous – they knew this would be tough terrain to navigate.  

Becoming a dad forced Chris to reckon with the most traumatic moments of his past, but it also strengthened his resolve to build his parenting skills from the ground up and be a different father to his own son.  


This episode contains discussion of suicide.

Survive and Thrive is a PANDA podcast, produced by Deadset Studios 

Visit for more support. 


Family violence support: 

It’s important to know that there is a risk during this time in your life that family violence will get worse, or it may start for the first time. If you’re worried about safety in your relationship, support is available. 

1800 RESPECT (support for people affected by family violence): 1800 737 732 or (24/7) 

Speak to PANDA: 

Call the PANDA Helpline on 1300 726 306 (9am-7:30pm Monday-Saturday AEST). 

The Helpline provides a safe and confidential space for any new or expecting parent struggling with the challenges of becoming a new parent. 

Our highly trained and caring counsellors can help you work through your challenges by talking openly and honestly about your thoughts, feelings and experiences. 

Partners, family members and friends can also call, as can health professionals supporting expecting and new parents. 

More resources: 

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline: 1800 882 436 (24/7) 

Lifeline: 13 11 14 (24/7) or (12pm to midnight) 

Suicide Callback Service: 1300 659 467 or (24/7) 

QLife: 1800 184 527 or (3PM to midnight) 

Mensline: 1300 78 99 78 or (24/7) 

If you need help now: 

If you are concerned about your safety or that of a loved one, please call 000 or visit your local hospital emergency department. 



PANDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live and where this podcast is made. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land. 

We recognise the individual and collective contributions of people with a lived and/or living experience of mental health issues, their families, loved ones and supporters.  

Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to PANDA's work and mental health systems reform.  

It is through listening to and acting on the voices of people with lived experience, that those who provide services, those who fund services, and most importantly, those who use services that we will find the information we need to move towards the mental health system Australia needs.   

Every person’s story we hear, every experience shared, helps to develop our understanding of the system that is required to best meet the needs of Australians living with mental health issues, their families, loved ones and supporters. 



Host: Gia Hogarth 

PANDA Digital Editor: Serena Ashmore 

PANDA Commissioning Editor: Bec Shafer 

Deadset Studios Senior Producer: Grace Pashley 

Deadset Studios Executive Producer: Rachel Fountain 

Sound Design by Krissy Miltiadou