Did you know that January is Postpartum Depression Awareness month? We didn’t until the folks at Perinatal Mood Disorder Awarness (PMDA) got in touch with us last month. What we didn’t need them to tell us, however, was how very serious postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders are. With studies estimating that between 15 and 30% of new mothers are affected by postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders, it’s very likely that either you or someone you know has been touched. Bringing awareness to these very real mental health issues facing mothers is important, because awareness means that people who are struggling are more likely to find the help they need.
Raise Awareness Around Postpartum Depression
To help raise awareness, PMDA is organizing Hats Off to Moms events on January 25, 2014. You’re invited to form a team, collect pledges, and host a community event to honour mothers and raise awareness. Events can be small, like gathering your friends for a get-together at your house. They can be a little bigger, such as organizing a yoga or fitness class to raise funds. Or you can go all-out, and spread the word far and wide. All funds raised will support PMDA, which is a registered non-profit organization, working to increase awareness and create resources around postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders. They want to remove the stigma around PPD, so that moms feel safe in coming forward and seeking help.
To find out more about the Hats Off to Moms initiative, and how to organize an event in your neighbourhood, visit hatsofftomoms.ppda.ca.
If you are currently wrestling with postpartum depression or anxiety, and you need help, the City of Toronto maintains a page with information and resources related to Postpartum Depression and Anxiety here. You’ll find links to both urgent and non-urgent services, as well as information about when to seek help. While perinatal mood disorders are serious, they are also very treatable. Reaching out for help can seem scary, but it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done.