Just like our physical health, our mental health too needs attention, care and upkeep. There are times in our lives such as pregnancy, birth and motherhood where this attention slips from ourselves to what we need to do as mothers. Despite all my lifestyle changes, theoretical understanding on the mental health issues I was not immune. None of us are.
In the Autumn of 2017 I was invited to The House of Commons to share my experiences as a new mum who suffered from antenatal and postnatal mental health issues. However, I wondered if it would be more powerful to take a few stories with me rather than just my own personal experience. So, I put out a quick survey on our small community of MummyYoga attendees to garner some points of view on the scale of the problem. What I had not anticipated was the avalanche of responses within hours and within 3 days we had over 300 responses to our survey. Some stories so heart wrenching that it was impossible now for me to sit back and do nothing.
Almost 80% of you who participated in our survey said they could benefit from Mental Health Support!
…This was the beginning of #MMhM Project.
Now we are at a stage where we have a lot of small adjunct ideas that are running independently to tackle the massive issue of perinatal mental health. We now want to consolidate these and gain momentum. We know its time.
- We start off with raising awareness on this project with a fabulous weekend event at StoryHouse–more on this as it gets updated.
- The Keep Me Close Sling Yoga has become a little gem of a community hub for new mums, so we will continue to build on this.
- We have weekly classes and chat
- We have monthly Delamere Forest sling walks incorporating talks on mental health
- We have online community support
- In addition, I will be restarting an old class that I used to do called Bliss out Mummy which will now aim to bring pregnant and new mums in the same class for the first time.
- Our New Podcast series called BYOBs (Bring Your Own Birth-stories) will enable us to all share our stories, help women who might be going through similar anxieties and fears as we did.
So how can you get involved right from the start?
So many of you sent in your stories during the survey period. I have has so many conversations since… fertility struggles, pregnancy related anxiety and stress, postnatal depression and struggles. If you can then please share your journey by writing, making audio or video podcasts on your struggles and how you cope or even document your day with a home video. We will then add all these to a special online portal where we can support each other, find inspiration from each other and make our lives richer by creating our own modern village…
Join and post your stories on our Facebook closed group. You can invite like-minded friends and family to share their experiences as well. You don’t have to do this alone. Create videos in a chat format or interview the person you think was inspirational in handling her/his mental health issues, who was brave enough to acknowledge they were struggling and asked for help, who despite all is an amazing mum/dad/grandparent…
If you think you can share your skill of creativity, physical activity leadership, your ability to empathise with mums then come and volunteer on the project offering your time, effort and skills to help out. We definitely need people who will be able run the Facebook page as admins and moderators.
We are in the process of setting up Sling walk group initiative within small local communities, if you think you may wish to facilitate a regular sling walk in your neighbourhood then we will give you all the help, training and ongoing support to set up and run these.
We could do with administrative, marketing, logistical and outreach support. These roles and responsibilities can be shared amongst us all volunteers. We can do most if not all of these activities in our own time and place, so you won’t need to commit to a work pattern just a commitment of a certain number of hours on this will be amazing.
I CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT YOU… PLEASE DON’T LET OUR COLLECTIVE PASSION WITHER AWAY… JOIN IN.