Lloydminster has proclaimed May 9 as Maternal Mental Health Day. On Wednesday, City Councillor Michael Diachuk recognized the importance of mother’s and the issues they face in the community.
“Mothers play a key role in our society and these are some of the challenges they go through. Any community that wishes to be successful and develop its assets needs to provide support,” says Diachuk.
The day raises awareness about postpartum depression and the struggles mothers go through after having a baby, as well as removing the stigma around postpartum. Local mom Krista Holden says five years ago when she had her son, Elliot she struggled with depression.
“When we had Elliot I experienced very serious postpartum depression and unfortunately there weren’t at the time any supports local to our community. So my husband would drive me to Saskatoon once a week so I could be part of a postpartum support group.”
Holden says her experience with postpartum depression has made her realize that it is not a mother’s issue it’s a community issue.
“Research is finally showing that if mom is struggling with postpartum depression then the chances of dad struggling our probably up to 50 per cent that he’s struggling. So you can imagine the emotional, financial and relationship impact that that has on the family so then that ripples out into the community.”
Midwest Family Connections offers resources in the community to support mother’s dealing with a variety of issues.
“They host our Mother’s First support groups so that’s every Thursday. The support group isn’t just necessarily for moms who have postpartum depression, if you’re concerned or having some anxiety or wishing to be connected I think it’s a great starting point,” says Holden.
A Mothers First Resource Book has also been created as part of the initiative that will be placed in doctors office and different community organizations.
Holden says she wants moms who are struggling to know that they are not alone and there are resources in the community to help.