Month: April 2019

Maternal Mental Health Week 2019

Maternal Mental Health Week 2019

When you mention “maternity” or “pregnancy” to the majority of the population, the classic Hollywood style images of happy families and new-born babies come to mind. However, as we enter into “Maternal Mental Health Week” this week, we want to open up the conversation about the struggles that many people face surrounding maternity.

 

More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or during the first year of the baby’s life, the most common form being depression. If left untreated, maternal mental health is one of the primary causes for death of mothers during this time. However, due to a range of fears, such as societal judgement or having their children taken away from them, many women do not seek help.

 

This week is to raise awareness of the struggles that many mothers face and help to signpost services that can help mothers in need, but it is also important to help change societal views, to help mothers to know that they’re not alone if they’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition and to know that it’s okay not to be okay and to ask for help. The chances are that someone in your life is struggling with maternal mental health and may be doing so in silence. Simply asking a loved one if how they’re doing or noticing the signs of someone who’s struggling could help get that person the help they need and may even save their life. While pregnancy and post-natal life are traditionally joyful periods, be mindful that this may not be the case for everyone. Let’s talk about maternal mental health and help support these strong mothers through a very difficult time.

 

While there are many forms of maternal mental illness, we have included a few common symptoms:

 

Feeling sad/hopeless

Sleeping too much/too little

Loss of appetite

Lack of interest or pleasure in normal activities

 

If you have any worries about you or someone you know, please talk to someone. Whether it be your local GP, a midwife or any other service, the main focus it to make sure the individual is safe and gets the help they deserve. Don’t suffer in silence.

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Sink or Swim? - Art Therapy

Sink or Swim? - Art Therapy

Many mental health conditions are associated with feelings of being trapped or lost. While in these moments it feels as though you’re completely alone and that no one could possibly understand how you’re feeling, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and not only have other people experienced similar feelings, but many have also returned from these “places” where they feel trapped.

 

I myself have been through a time like this recently, and the only way I can describe it is feeling like I was drowning. I decided to create an art piece that could help describe how I was feeling. Art can be an incredible tool to use when you’re feeling down, not only to distract your mind, but also to help you understand some of the often confusing emotions. While painting, I realised so many things about my situation that I hadn’t noticed before, and somehow it all started to seem a lot more bearable.

 

A common misconception is that in order to do art, one must be good at art, but this really isn’t the case. Art is simply taking the time to express yourself whether it be on paper, in model form or an entirely different mode altogether. In taking the time to do something, it allows your mind to take a break from all the confusing aspects of life and really come to terms with the parts of life that are troubling us. It can often help you to understand your own mind better and as a result helps you to figure out what to do next to give yourself the self-love you need. It’s so effective that it has become a form of therapy in itself, which you can find out more about online. We highly recommend doing something artistic to help improve your mood and you can even get friends or family involved too to make it more sociable.

Check out our social media pages to see the full version of our artwork!

 

We challenge you to try out some form of art this week and let us know how it goes on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

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