Help­ing mums in tough times

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE - NIGEL MOFFIET

A free peer sup­port ser­vice for women suf­fer­ing from an­te­na­tal and post­na­tal de­pres­sion is launch­ing in South Auck­land.

Well Women Franklin will be run­ning once a week from the Red­hill Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Pa­pakura next month.

The char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tion has been based in Pukekohe for 10 years and group fa­cil­i­ta­tor Jane Fausett says there’s been a lot of de­mand to ex­pand.

The group, which in­cludes trained fa­cil­i­ta­tors and child­care work­ers, helps around 60 moth­ers each year deal­ing with a range of men­tal health dis­or­ders.

The ser­vice was orig­i­nally started by a mid­wife after the sui­cide of a lo­cal women she had known.

It re­ceived fund­ing from the district health board as a pi­lot scheme but now money is raised through com­mu­nity grants and fundrais­ing.

The group is open to all women with chil­dren aged five and un­der and re­fer­rals are not nec­es­sary.

Groups of up to 15 women at­tend each meet­ing to share their ex­pe­ri­ences.

Fa­cil­i­ta­tors can then guide each per­son in the right di­rec­tion for fur­ther help.

Fausett says the or­gan­i­sa­tion of­fers a unique ser­vice and is about ‘‘pre­vent­ing de­pres­sion’’ and of­fer­ing ‘‘ex­tra sup­port’’ for moth­ers in need.

‘‘This is about fam­i­lies … the mum is the rock.

‘‘If she falls apart, the trick­le­down ef­fect for the whole fam­ily is massive,’’ she says.

Fausett sees many women who have reached a ‘‘tip­ping point’’ while deal­ing with the stress of rais­ing a fam­ily.

Com­mon themes in­clude fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, re­la­tion­ship break­downs, be­reave­ment and loss.

Group feed­back, which re­mains anony­mous, is very pos­i­tive.

One mother says the ser­vice ‘‘was the start­ing point’’ in her re­cov­ery.

‘‘I have found it in­valu­able to meet other sup­port­ive women go­ing through ex­pe­ri­ences,’’ she says.

The Pa­pakura ser­vice starts on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 17, 9:45am to 11:15am at Red­hill Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, 163 Do­min­ion Rd. Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week also runs from Oc­to­ber 9 to 15.

Email well­wom­en­help@gmail.com or phone 0211588134 for more in­for­ma­tion. sim­i­lar

Well Women fa­cil­i­ta­tors Jane Fausett, left, and Cathy Fletcher.

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