H – Mum of 2
I want to take a moment to talk about something I have experienced.
That thing is Post Natal Depression – PND for short.
When my older daughter was still a small infant, I was luckily placed in the lap of local PND support services, and they helped, and I will always be so thankful.
Except things didn’t get better once I had help, they actually got worse.
My GP helped me with medication, but I had difficulties with medication and I wasn’t technically eligible for the local maternal mental health clinic, so specialist advice was hard to access.
Thankfully I met Sonya, at the time she ran two groups and she quickly welcomed me into one of those groups, but I was too unwell to cope with leaving my house and took a long time before I took her offer up again.
In the meantime, Sonya was putting everything into finding the funding to continue providing support to families affected by PND, which also included a support group for the partners of parents affected by PND.
When I did finally start attending the remaining support group (the North Christchurch group had closed due to funding difficulties) the support that she gave me was incredible – I anxiously entrusted my one year old with the volunteer caregivers, and then went up to the table of mothers, it was intimidating, but Sonya smiled and gestured towards the seat nearest to her.
Over the next hour and a half I felt accepted and understood and like I fit in and I was safe, and I wasn’t interrupted by my daughter, who was happily having snacks and playing and doing arts and crafts.
Over the next two and a half years, I spent many Thursday afternoons at support group, at one point there was no funding and we met at Imagination Station because it was free, where we all awkwardly talked about superficial things because suddenly we weren’t in our safe hall filled with trusted people.
We were lucky to have a generous sponsor help to get us back into the hall, but things are always tight and funding is harder and harder to access.
Sonya has saved so many lives and relationships through her work, which extends from putting together gift baskets for Christmas, organising support, giving us advice on how to access different services to the much needed education of government services, and lobbying for us.
Thank you Sonya, so much.