New parents need help with mental health

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Depression and anxiety are common problems in new and expectant parents, says charity

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21st January 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

A mental health charity has set up a project exclusively for new and expectant parents.

Penumbra says depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health problems women experience during pregnancy and that just over one in 10 new mums suffer postnatal depression.

Its Perinatal Mental Health Project hopes to improve the mental health of new mothers and their partners by working with them to improve their wellbeing and tackle stigma, throughout their pregnancy and up to a year after the birth of their child.

We are aware that mums may be experiencing any kind of mental health problem in pregnancy and that partners too can suffer and not know where to go

Launched in Falkirk the charity is running free workshops and drop in sessions on wellbeing in the area and will hold a Perinatal Mental Health event in February.

William Wright, from Penumbra, said those affected by mental health conditions in the period before and after giving birth can lead to parents internalising worries and anxieties for fear of being judged as a bad parent.

He added: “We are aware that mums may be experiencing any kind of mental health problem in pregnancy and do not know where to go; and likewise, we are aware that partners too can suffer and do not know where to go. 

“We hope that both mums and partners will benefit from meeting with other people with the same lived experience, gain knowledge on maintaining their own wellbeing and knowledge of national and local resources for help and support in the communities that they live in.”

The Falkirk project has been funded by See Me, the national programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

Judith Robertson, See Me programme director, said: “Too many new and expectant mothers feel alone and don’t know where to turn if they are struggling with their mental health.

“It’s okay not to be okay, but when someone is struggling, particularly at a time when people think they should be happy, it can lead to feelings of guilt.

“This project can help tackle the self-stigma people experience, showing them they aren’t alone and there are people they can talk to.”

For more information about the project contact William by emailing [email protected]

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