When my friend, Katherine Stone asked friends to blog today to bring awareness to her Postpartum Progress, Inc., her non-profit’s fundraising campaign, I jumped at the chance.
The work she does in bringing support and awareness to postpartum depression is amazing and I wanted to be a part of something big. She and the people who offer support online and in person have literally saved lives. They’ve helped women not feel alone. They’ve offered support and advice on how women can find support, how they can communicate with their husbands and families. She and others haven’t been afraid to put their names and faces and stories out there. You know what? That means something. Sure, doing any kind of awareness is terrific but when people can connect postpartum depression to actual people, with faces, it does help more.
She’s not afraid to do that and she’s offered a platform so that others aren’t afraid to do it. Like I said, something big.
I wanted to help because we have our own issues with mental health with our son and while it is sometimes hard to share our story publicly for fear of discrimination I do it because if more people do it, it’ll be less hard for those of us that suffer behind us. Such is the case with any mental illness.
Katherine picked today, October 5th, as her fundraising kick -off day because it is the day in the year when more babies are born, which increases the number of women who suffer from postpartum depression. That makes me think back to the day when my daughter was 2 days old and diagnosed with APRKD. I was so lucky that I could focus on dealing with her needs and not postpartum depression but it makes me think about those women and families who aren’t as lucky. I think about the women who hear devastating diagnoses about their new babies and who also soon fall into postpartum depression.
The work that Postpartum Progress does it so important. It lines up with our own mission here on Support for Special Needs; that we’re never really alone even though it feels that way some days. There is always someone else going through the same thing. Always.
Katherine shared that only 15% of all women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders ever receive professional treatment. That means that every year, 850,000 women and their children may suffer from the negative effects of untreated PPD and related illnesses for the rest of their lives because they never got the help they the need and that’s only in the US.
Please help Katherine and Postpartum Progress, Inc. bring more help to more women. They can’t do it without us.