The month of May has been dubbed Maternal Mental Health Month! Mental health is such an important issue within all communities, especially for women and moms across the globe! This month is a time to remember the many women who may be struggling with mental illness, all while juggling the task of taking care of home.
“We know about 1 in 5 moms will experience a diagnosable mental health issue,” said Associate Director of Mental Health America Franklin County Tonya Fulwider.
One of the most common mental health issues is postpartum depression.
“We hear the term ‘postpartum depression,’ but what we really know is that depression in the sense that people think of depression, as feeling down, not feeling motivated, sleeping all the time… It really doesn’t look like that in pregnancy and postpartum. It looks a lot like anxiety,” said Fulwider.
“Moms are just so caught up in worry, sometimes they have scary thoughts, they can’t quite get rid of all the ‘what ifs. Addressing that appropriately is so important.”
With this in mind Fulwider and an amazing group of women found the Prenatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms, aka the POEM program. The organization pushes to provide mothers access to the care and support they need.
POEM connects moms to mentors, healthcare providers and even transportation. They also put postpartum depression and anxiety in the spotlight with events like “Give Mom the Mic.”
“There’s this misnomer that, if you say, I’m dealing with a mental illness, somehow I’m not as good of a mom as somebody who doesn’t have that struggle,” Fulwider said. “But good moms, great moms, wonderful moms… Also deal with mental illnesses.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, there are POEM support groups that meet throughout Ohio.
“Everybody asks to hold the baby, said Fulwider. “Who’s holding the mother?”
For more information and various locations click here!