Mental health problems experienced by women in the periods before and after having a child affect around 1 in 5 women. The first week in May is National Maternal Mental Health Week in the UK and is used to raise awareness of the issue and encourage women to seek help if they feel their mental health is at risk.
Having a baby is a life changing event, and it's natural for anyone to experience a range of emotions and reactions during and after pregnancy. But for some women this can start to have a big impact on their lives.
For many women in Northern Ireland, women’s centres are an essential source of support and advice. So leading local mental health and wellbeing charity Inspire is joining forces with the Women’s Resource and Development Agency (WRDA), to take information about maternal mental health and general wellbeing out into women’s centres across Northern Ireland.
On Tuesday 2nd May the two organisations will be on a mission to deliver and setup ‘Inspiration Points’ stocked with leaflets on issues such as post-natal depression, anxiety and other mental health problems that can arise for mums throughout the women’s centre network.
They’ll be charting their progress online using #roadtowellbeing after kicking off the day with a launch event at Falls Women’s Centre at 9:30am. This event will include testimony from ‘Have You Seen That Girl?’ founder and Inspire’s maternal wellbeing ambassador, Lindsay Robinson who will share her story of post-natal depression and recovery, and the work she now does to support and inspire other women.
WRDA spokesperson Kellie Turtle said: “We are very excited about working with Inspire to take this issue on the road to women’s centres as these are places where women are getting a whole range of important support services. It’s important to use this week to get the message out there that maternal mental health affects so many people and you can ask for help. Too many women are still struggling in silence, often unaware that they are unwell.”
Lisa McElherron, Inspire’s Head of Policy, Campaigns and Research is delighted to have these new locations to help share and promote the charity’s message of wellbeing for all. She said: “It’s really exciting to be working with WRDA and women’s centres across NI to shine a light on the issue of maternal mental health and wellbeing. Our Inspiration Point campaign is about making information on mental and emotional wellbeing easily available to anyone that might need it, and promote ways to build personal resilience and access to support.
“Maternal Wellbeing is a key mental health issue our organisation actively campaigns to promote awareness about with the invaluable help we receive from our ambassador Lindsay Robinson. It is important that we inspire women to feel empowered to reach out for support to maintain or regain their mental health.”
Volunteers bring immeasurable value to all areas of Inspire’s work to support people living with mental health conditions or an intellectual/learning disability. Find out more about how you get involved with our work.