Why Should I Become a “Friend of Mothers Helpers”?
1. Because there is a Gap
There is a gap in our community in terms of help, support and information for everyone who suffers from mild-moderate depression – but particularly for mothers regarding Perinatal Anxiety and Depression (perinatal incorporates both the Antenatal and Postnatal periods). Mothers Helpers has heard story after story of mothers and fathers who have not been adequately informed about Postnatal Depression, who were not told they might be at-risk of Postnatal Depression and given extra support to hopefully prevent it from occurring, who were not assessed for Depression by their Midwife or their Well Child Nurse or their GP, who were late in being diagnosed by a GP who just didn’t pick it up, and who were given only medication as a treatment option rather than an explanation and information about all the ways that they can recover from depression (since research shows us medication alone does not work long-term).
2. Because there is a Lack of Awareness
The very reason why a gap exists in our community is because those that decide on services are not aware or do not believe that a gap (or problem) exists. It is up to those of us who have been affected by Antenatal Anxiety/Postnatal Depression to make people aware of the gap – politicians, health professionals, funders – but also to increase the knowledge and awareness of communities and families so that mothers and fathers are better informed to get help.
3. Because there is Still a Stigma Around Depression
And particularly Perinatal Depression. So often mothers believe that they are failing as a mother if they are not coping, so mothers often suffer in silence, pretending to everyone that everything is ok. Those that are vulnerable need to have others to advocate and be their voice so that they can be heard and receive help.
4. Because Right Now Mothers with Postnatal Depression Do Not Have a Voice
When a person has a mental illness such as Postnatal Depression, she is concentrating on her day-to-day survival of depressive symptoms, and stress such as solo parenting, financial difficulties, relationship difficulties, managing the demands of young children to name a few. She does not have the energy (and quite likely does not have the strength while managing all that’s on her plate) to make submissions to local and central government about decisions they’re making which directly affect her and her family. By becoming a “Friend of Mothers Helpers”, Mothers Helpers will put forward written submissions and feedback about a variety of things representing those who have Postnatal Depression and their families who are affected by Postnatal Depression. Submissons will be made to things like: Suicide Prevention Action Plan, Mental Health Action Plan, Perinatal Mental “Healthy Beginnings” recommendations and feedback, Children’s Action Plan (Preventing/Responding to Child Abuse). “Friends of Mothers Helpers” will have the opportunity to have imput into the writing of these submissions. There are no other organizations nationwide to represent the voice of mothers with postnatal depression and those affected by it in terms of central and local government decision-making that affect them directly.
Who Should Become a “Friend of Mothers Helpers”?
Anyone who has been affected by Perinatal Depression:
– Mothers who have experienced it
– Fathers whose partners have gone through it
– Family members whose loved one has experienced it
– Friends of someone who has gone through it
– Health professionals or agencies who are in contact with mothers/parents that are struggling
– Anyone who wants to support vulnerable families
What Does Becoming a “Friend of Mothers Helpers” Mean?
- It means you are putting your name behind appeals for change so that the current gaps are addressed and vulnerable families are better informed, know how and where to get help, and receive increased support
- It means you will have imput into central/local government decisions that affect you and your family
- It means that you are standing up to say what is currently offered to families affected by Perinatal Depression is inadequate. You will be part of a growing community of people who have an increasingly strong voice to create change.
- You will have voting rights for every major decision that Mothers Helpers makes, including votes on Board member elections – this means that you will have a say in the direction that Mothers Helpers goes in and the services we offer and how we offer it.
What is Mothers Helpers Asking To Be Changed?
- That midwives and well child nurses use the Edinburgh test to assess (screen) for Anti-natal Anxiety and Postnatal Depression with every mother (particularly those at-risk) and refer to a GP if indicated
- That more information is given on Anti-natal Anxiety and Postnatal Depression and who is at-risk by Child Birth Educators and Midwives
- That GP’s adhere to best practice guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of Perinatal Depression and provide information on recovery that is holistic and does not focus wholly on medication
- That there is an increase in free or subsidized counselling for those with depression rather than the four sessions currently available (which we feel is insufficient)
- That funding is provided for Mothers Helpers so that we can provide this service of peer support and practical help to all mothers (and their families) who are at-risk of developing Postnatal Depression or they are suffering with Postnatal Depression
How Do I Become a “Friend of Mothers Helpers”?
- Becoming a “Friend of Mothers Helpers” is free – there is a non-compulsory membership fee of $10 per year but it is a koha or suggested donation only and is not necessary to your joining – it is more important to us that you join your voice with ours to make things better for vulnerable families
- Just sign up by clicking this link
- If you have any questions – Contact Us