Motherhood, mental illness and me: Why I’m marking Maternal Mental Health Day and Week

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Last week, I found myself on the floor crying with my mental health drugs scattered around me. “I just don”t know what medication I’m taking,” I wailed. It all sounds very over the top for a simple issue as not understanding a prescription. But when your mental health is bad, everything is bad.

Which is why I will never stop talking about mental health because we all have it. Granted, not everyone has a mental illness like me but at least 1 in 4 of us have had a mental health problem.

And for me, my crutch is my medication (mentally and physically), my blog and vlog (so thank YOU for reading and watching my rambles) and my support network of people.

So I was chuffed to be invited to share my experiences of turning a scary psychotic episode into an award-winning youtube channel as part of Maternal Mental Health Week with Baby Mindful Harrogate.

Anyway first things first…

What is Maternal Mental Health Week?

Maternal Mental Health Week is organised by Maternal Mental Health Alliance member the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP).

A week-long campaign dedicated to talking about mental illness during pregnancy or after having a baby and signposting to support for all mums. The focus is on advocating for mums affected by maternal mental health and helping them to access the information and help they need to enable recovery.

This year’s theme for the third annual UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week is Mums Matter.

What is World Maternal Mental Health Day?

World Maternal Mental Health Day draws attention to essential health concerns for mothers and families. Life changes around pregnancy make women more vulnerable to mental illness. The negative cycle of poverty and mental illness impact on a woman’s ability to function and thrive. This may also directly affect her foetus or child, with long-lasting physical, cognitive and emotional outcomes. Mental health care provides the necessary support to empower women to identify resources and personal capabilities. This can enhance their resilience to difficult life circumstances and support them to nurture their children optimally. Caring for mothers is a positive intervention for long-term social development.

How to raise awareness

Whether it be on social media using the hashtag #MaternalMHMatters and joining in with the week’s themes.

Or see if there’s an event near you. As mentioned earlier, I spoke this week at a Mamas Talk Event in Harrogate where we had talks from Jo at Baby Mindful Harrogate, This is My Brave Face, Hey Mama Club and myself on our own experiences of surviving and thriving with mental health issues .

I highly recommend using this week as a great excuse to connect with other mamas online and offline. I know I do a lot of work online so for me it was great to push myself and meet other mums in real life and share the sh*ts and giggles of parenting and mental illness.

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As a journalist by trade, I like a story with a beginning and an end but with parenting and mental health issues there is no clear start and finish to the highs and lows… It’s all sh*ts and giggles… Which is why I love blogging, vlogging and connecting with like minded people who understand you’re still on your journey and you can laugh, share and empathise with one another ?❤️? So it was an honour to speak at the first #MamasTalk event in #Harrogate for #maternalmentalhealthweek ??? A huge thanks to @babymindfulharrogate for organising the fabulous event and great panel with @this_is_my_brave_face @heymamaclub & I ❤️❤️❤️ Full video highlights on ???So lovely meeting @_lisa_hammond_ @more_than_a_tick_box @sweatymamaleedsnorthwest @bipolarmumandthebabyblog and everyone else (sorry my #dyslexic mum brain can only retain a few names but comment and I’ll tag you) Thanks so much for having me hope my talk was ok ??? #maternalmhmatters @perinatalmhpartnership #pnmhp #mamastalksh*t #immorethanatickbox #mumlife #channelmumvillage #mumvillage #maketimeforselfcare #madmum

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