If you are in need of urgent help, please go to our Emergency/Crisis Help Page
Is ‘Mothers Helpers’ a registered charity?
Yes, Mothers Helpers is registered as a charitable trust with the Companies office. We are also registered with the Charities Commission and our number is: CC48369
Is ‘Mothers Helpers’ a member of any other Governing Body?
Mothers Helpers is a member of the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust (now known as PADA.) We are an independent Charitable Trust with no official umbrella organisation governing us. We have our own Board of Trustees and members that are Friends of Mothers Helpers who are consulted in our major decisions.
Why Antenatal and Postnatal Depression?
Currently, awareness of antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety (ANDA/PNDA) is minimal. There is under-diagnosing, inadequate treatment and often mothers and agencies who might identify ANDA or PNDA in a mother do not know where they can go for help. The consequences of AND and PND and anxiety are far-reaching and include not just the mother but her child, her partner and her family. For more information about NZ’s current situation regarding postnatal depression click here
Why we do what we do.
Founder of Mothers Helpers Kristina Paterson experienced Antenatal Depression and Postnatal Depression but neither of these were picked up by any health professional for 18 months. At that time, Kristina went to the doctor and was diagnosed but by then, the result of her experience of delayed diagnosis and untreated depression and anxiety had a profound affect on her and her family. At the time she was diagnosed, there was really no help available because her depression was mild-moderate and she did not fit the criteria of Maternal Mental Health, so the only real help available was medication and counselling that was costly. That experience led Kristina to develop an holistic recovery programme where 65% of mothers attending are recovering from ANDA or PNDA, and all mothers that attend are having an average of 51% improvement in depression scores. These courses are facilitated by counsellors and although we do not currently have Government funding, we try to keep costs to a minimum. In some areas of Auckland, we deliver our service free-of-charge and those with a Community Services Card should be able to claim WINZ funding to cover costs.
All our staff and volunteers have been affected by Antenatal or Postnatal Depression and Anxiety in some way and we are passionate about helping mums to recover from ANDA or PNDA.
Mothers Helpers is a Christian-based charity since the founder of Mothers Helpers Kristina Paterson has a Christian faith. There is no Christian content in the course per se and no pushing of ideas or philosophies at any stage. Staff and volunteers at Mothers Helpers may or may not have a Christian faith or any other spiritual belief. However, it is the Founder’s hope that anyone who comes to Mothers Helpers for support understands that her motivation for providing this support came from the compassion and love that God feels for you. The Bible says that He is “close to the brokenhearted.”
Are you at-risk of Post-Natal Depression?
Any of the following can put you at higher risk of having Post-Natal Depression (PND). With our help, we might be able to provide sufficient support so that you do not experience PND:
- Pregnant or at least one child under 4 years old
- Previous history of depression or post-natal depression
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Single mum
- Young mum (<22yo)
- Little or no family support
- Marriage/relationship difficulties
- Financial difficulties
- Traumatic Birth
- Breastfeeding problems
- Other stressful events eg. death of a parent
What we do.
If you are at-risk of PND (refer to our list above) or a mother with ante-natal or postnatal depression/anxiety, one of our facilitators will contact you to discuss where you are at, what you need and how we can help.
One of our Counsellors/Facilitators in your area will contact you to assess your depression/anxiety and identify areas where you might need extra support. We will refer you to a range of agencies and our own volunteers that provide free or affordable support or practical help with your consent. We would then offer you the option of joining our Perinatal Depression Recovery Course. All those that attend the course are eligible to receive affordable/free ongoing counselling on course completion and practical help from one of our volunteers in the form of childcare/housework while you are focused on your recovery.
Mothers Helpers supports evidenced-based prevention, treatment and recovery options for mothers. We recognize that research in New Zealand of mothers with postnatal depression is limited, and that there are some types of treatment that are difficult to measure. Mothers Helpers supports continued research and seeks opportunities to measure recovery options including their own service to ensure mothers have the opportunity to recover quickly and more fully and preventing various consequences of postnatal depression in terms of its longevity and severity.
Mothers Helpers does not have a bias toward any one treatment option, but presents factual information to mothers so that they can make the best choice for them and their family.
Mothers Helpers vision is to prevent the occurrence, the longevity and the severity of postnatal depression and the significant effects these have on a mother and her family.
Mothers Helpers believes in an holistic approach to health incorporating the physical, psychological, social, mental, cultural and spiritual aspects of a person.