Mental Health Care for families: Home Start and Maternal Mental Health Week

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There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to mental health care. For me, I struggle talking about my past and present as sometimes it’s too painful, especially at the moment as I have no “let-up” with having young children. I don’t have the energy or enough childcare to deal with all my issues, nor the time to experience the therapy “come down.”  

But what I do like is to use my mental health appointments to be practical, get things done that I have been putting off such as calling HMRC (something I find super stressful) or booking blood tests, in fact anything that involves phone calls as I hate phone calls.

My mental health co-ordinator even helped me to move house a while back which was a real help at a very stressful time, with no home to go to.

 A lifeline for me has also been Home Start charity who help families and mums from pregnancy and beyond.

Rather than a lot of services that rely on you being well enough to visit them, Home Start offer everything from home visits to play groups and practical support with mental health, finances and relationships.

A few years ago I was referred to them through my health visitor (although you can refer yourself, just contact them), as I struggled to play with the kids especially during depressive episodes.

A volunteer came to my house, chatted to me about my needs and troubles and then offered support that was suitable for me.

This was empowering as I often feel that I am penalised by services for pushing myself to do things and not wallow in my mental health. She recognised how hard I was working on my health but that I was also struggling in a number of areas.

Sometimes you just need a helping hand without talking too much or maybe you prefer to talk. But that’s the point, we are all individual human beings, we are not one mentally ill bunch.

Even now I cringe, when I am asked the same set questions about my mental health. I can feel the health professionals “marking” me.

I am not thick, just because I struggle with my mental health, so please treat me as an adult and get to know me rather than judge on appearances or through a quick chat.

Home Start are still helping me today – out of all the services, they are the one place that has stuck by me through the good times and the bad. Most places ditch you if you’re deemed to be doing well, but mental health is not one straight road and consistency and individual care is key.

What care works for you? Please comment below or on social media @mamameiblog

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