Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: PANDA Community Champion

Falling through the cracks

Last week I attended the Australasian Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health Conference in Brisbane, where I presented my poster ‘Falling through the cracks; a lived experience of postpartum psychosis in NSW’. I was surprised and honored to receive a poster prize for ‘Thoughtful presentation of an area of perinatal mental illness of lived experience that requires greater support and advocacy’.

Falling through the cracks

 

Marce Conference Poster prize

 

Focus Group for Mother Baby Unit in NSW

Are you experienced a hospital visit as part of your treatment of perinatal mental illness in NSW? I am reaching out to see if you would like to be a part of the focus group for the following project. This is a very exciting paid opportunity to be part of the focus group planning the first public psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit (MBU) in NSW. At this time this opportunity is available to women who experienced hospitalisation as part of their treatment in NSW.

The first meeting will be held this month (August) which depending on everyone’s availability will hopefully be face to face, the location is TBC but they’re hoping to have it at where the MBU will be located (Newtown Royal Prince Albert Hospital). If travelling for meetings will be a problem please let Tracey (program manager) know as there may Teleconferencing options available. The intention is for the focus group to be an ongoing partnership with the planning team as the MBU is developed. However there is no pressure for you to continue if time commitments do not allow.

If interested in being having your say please get in touch with Tracey as soon as possible.

Seeking mental health consumers, peer workers and carers for participation in a focus group for the planning of a public psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit (MBU) in NSW

 

What’s the purpose of the project?

We are seeking the input and advice from consumers and carers for the planning of a Psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit. Mental Health-Children and Young People, NSW Health is currently writing a planning guide for a dedicated public psychiatric Mother-Baby Unit (MBU) in NSW. An MBU is a specialist mental health facility which accommodates pregnant women or mothers with their infants in times where acute psychiatric care is required.  MBU’s provide specialist care to empower the women’s recovery and support the development of an optimal parent-infant relationship.

 

Who are we looking for: female consumers, carers or peer workers who have had a lived experience of mental ill health during the perinatal period (pregnancy and up to 2 years post birth), including a psychiatric hospital admission in NSW.

 

What does it involve: Participants would be invited to participate in a single, small focus group for up to three hours at a venue in Sydney (to be determined). Participants will be involved in a discussion and asked to comment on questions, or express their views on the discussed planning guide. There will be no expectations for participants to read lengthy documents however a survey may be administered in addition to the focus group.

 

Are the consumers/carers paid: Yes, participants would be paid a fee of $30/hr

 

Contact Details: Tracey Fay-Stammbach, Program Manager Perinatal & Infant Mental Health, MH-Children and Young People, NSW Health.  Tel 02 9859 5330 or email tracey.faystammbach@moh.health.nsw.gov.au

 

The Lessons from Perfectionism

So many of the pains in our world can be traced back to one simple concept – perfectionism. The idea that everything has to be ‘perfect’ to be right. In this episode, author, TedX speaker, mental mental health advocate and mama Lisa Abramson talks about her own struggles with perfectionism, and how it led her to a psychiatric hospital… and back to herself. – Happy Mama with Amy Tayor-Kabbaz.

Become so unwell, I went from normal baby blues and mood swings, some normal adjustment, trouble coping with being a new mum, lack of sleep, the hormones, the stress of trying to breastfeed… it felt like the world was ending and I as soon as I become a mum I had failed at everything I was supposed to be doing.

I wanted to know why did this happen to me? How did I make it happen? Was it my fault? What did I do wrong? This was a challenging part of the recovery getting over that and letting go, and saying sometimes there’s things bigger than us.

The combination of the hormones, the stress of being a new mum and then not sleeping just proved to be a toxic combination for me.

[If] you find yourself facing a maternal mental health disorder it’s not your fault, you absolutely  didn’t do anything wrong, there is nothing you could have done differently to prevent it, sometimes we just react differently to the situations at hand, and surrendering to that.

Say no to things that don’t align with your values and aren’t nurturing your wellbeing, getting more protective of your time.

Getting support is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength and self-assurance

It’s going to work out.

Source: Ep #19 – The Lessons from Perfectionism with Lisa Abramson – Happy Mama

Amy from Happy Mama donates 5% of subscriptions to her New Moon Mama Circles to PANDA! Here is recent Happy Mama article that resonated with me – Mother the Mother.

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

 

Babes and Picnics

Thank you Fi from Mumma Morrison for sharing my story today as part of her #RealMums Blog Series!

Earlier in the year I was so excited to be a part of May’s sold out Babes + Picnics SUTHERLAND SHIRE Mother’s Day luncheon. As a local shire mum, a mum who has experienced perinatal mental health and a PANDA Community Champion I was honored to be asked to be a guest speaker sharing my story of healing and recovery, and raising awareness of postpartum psychosis in our community.

L to R: Sarah, Fi, Karla, Julie

L to R: Sarah, Fi, Karla, Julie

It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to share my story of motherhood and postpartum psychosis, alongside Fi Mumma Morrison speaking about her journey of motherhood and postnatal anxiety and the loving Julie Clarke for sharing important information about postnatal depression, as well as proudly supporting PANDA.

I am proud to be a PANDA Community Champion with these lovely local ladies sharing our stories at the B+P Luncheon. It was a pleasure to speak with local member Melanie Gibbons MP about the experiences new mums have with perinatal mental health, and the need for more support in NSW for mums who go through severe postnatal depression, anxiety and postpartum psychosis not having access to a public Mother Baby Unit. Thank you Fi and Karla for putting together such a supportive event of connection, supporting PANDA and bringing awareness to perinatal mental health issues.

L to R: Fi, Sarah, Deborah, Melanie, baby Audrey, Ashleigh

L to R: Fi, Sarah, Deborah, Melanie, baby Audrey, Ashleigh

PANDA‘s new website is now live! As a PANDA Community Champion I am proud to have been given the opportunity recently to assist in the development of the new site around postpartum psychosis, helping to ensure the content was accessible and reflected the voices of us mums and families who have experienced postpartum psychosis. Take a look at panda.org.au/info-support/postnatal-psychosis/

Head over and read my interview with fellow PANDA Community Champion Fi at Mumma Morrison as part of her #RealMums Blog Series!

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

 

Full recovery is possible

My story of postpartum psychosis has been published in The Guardian today alongside some great new research! I am so proud of the mother I have become and proud to be a PANDA Community Champion raising awareness of postpartum psychosis in our community.

“People can mistakenly describe what women like me go through as ‘baby blues’ or ‘depression’, but I was definitely not depressed,” West says.

West received treatment after a friend told her she was not behaving like her usual self and called the National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline [Panda]. They advised that West should be taken to hospital immediately for psychiatric care, and West is now a strong advocate for the helpline.

“I have to speak up because I don’t like the thought of other families going through what we did. This has to change and to do that we need better recognition of the condition.”

Source: Postpartum psychosis: research reveals full recovery possible within weeks | Life and style | The Guardian

 

Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

Mum ‘intentionally’ drowns baby

The mother of a baby girl who drowned in a bathtub has pleaded not guilty to murder, on the grounds she was suffering a mental illness at the time, but guilty to manslaughter.

Source: Mother of baby girl who drowned in bathtub pleads guilty to manslaughter

Additional source:  Mum ‘intentionally’ drowns baby over mistaken fears she had dwarfism

Another mother who did not receive the support she needed, though the article does not specifically refer to the mental illness as postpartum psychosis. It highlights the importance of having support around you as a new mum, with no mention of a husband or family only friends who were ‘fed up’ with her obsessions.

Soon after the girl was born in April 2010, the mother had begun worrying obsessively that her daughter had genetic abnormalities.

This mum was in North Strathfield, only about 10 minutes away from NSW’s only Mother Baby Unit, though it’s private. It highlights the lack of support in the NSW health system yet in the same week Queensland Health announce the first public Mother Baby Unit and the week before Bendigo, Victoria announced its new public Mother Baby Unit. How many other mothers have to reach this stage and how many more deaths have to occur before the NSW government recognises perinatal mental health and the importance of early intervention. #ActNowNSWPublicMBU

“This is an important step forward because we know that intervention during the perinatal period is critical to improving the health of mothers and their ability to care for their baby.

– Queensland Health

Every year, PANDA helps thousands of Australian families affected by perinatal anxiety and depression. We believe it’s a journey no one should go through alone. Know the signs and seek help early. PANDA National Helpline 1300 729 360 panda.org.au

© 2017 Sarah Short Circuit

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑