Today, it’s time for #MumTalk . Sports Relief has started a hashtag, teaming up the the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and other related Charities and Organisations, to get a conversation started. A conversation about Mental Health – and one that needs to be had.
Across Twitter, people are using the hashtag #MumTalk to share stories about Maternal Mental Health. So I’m getting involved.
The media has been full of stories, insights and real life accounts of Perinatal Mental Illness. ‘My Baby, Psychosis’ and Me, Eastenders storylines, accounts of Post Natal Depression. There is more on the way – now the NHS reports are out, Perinatal Mental Health is in the spotlight. It’s important. In fact, it’s vital.
You might know that when my son Roman was born I was quite poorly. Diagnosed with PND, Birth Trauma and anxiety. Not coping, unable to cope. The first GP I spoke to gave me a leaflet on contraception. Eventually, I was given tablets and counselling and I got better, but there was no real explaination for me – no-one told me why it happened, no-one told me how common it actually was. It was lonely.
I volunteer now for PANDAS Foundation, a Charity supporting women, men, and their families, who are dealing with Perinatal Mental Illness. It’s amazing to work for them – not only for the good they do but for the amazing people I have met. For how strong they are, how resilient, how able to handle the way many of them have been ignored, mistreated, let down. The conversation today needs to be one we have every day. #ItsOKNotToBeOK – that’s what we tell people on Twitter, that’s what we tell people on our Facebook and overy the phone and at our Support Groups. You don’t have to be afraid of telling someone you aren’t doing so well. It gets better – I got better.
A big part of my PND recovery was Running – that’s why I’m so glad Sport Relief has gotten involved. It gave me something that was just for me. I didn’t have to answer to anyone, talk to anyone, listen to anyone. I had my own goals, and release, and time away from being ‘Just Mum’. There are so many ways to find that ‘thing’ that gets you through tough times – sport, craft, cooking, art. Everyone needs that. Especially when you’re feeling low.
The big message for today is to talk about our experiences, talk about our lives with Maternal Mental Illnesses. Talk about being poorly, being well, and the bumps along the road.
Let’s have a comversation. #MumTalk