There is a desperate need for an environment where they can share the brave new world they are in. That's why PND groups don't always fit the bill. By and large, these women have 'new motherhood', not PND and people don't want to feel they are being scrutinised and monitored, with notes being kept about them on medical files.
I have written variations on this theme for the last few years and wanted this opinion to be put out there. I know some people will dismiss it as middle class mothers moaning, but it's not, it's a cross-class problem and is more about how women are regarded full stop, which is an extremely hot topic (various debates raging about Page 3, online abuse, Everyday Sexism et al). Nor is it moaning. These women don't want to be labelled as depressed - they want to share the highs as well as the lows. One of my new facilitators Charlotte, works for Comment is Free and we approached The Guardian about using a piece. We had to wait for a suitable news item and one presented itself in the shape of the NHS providing inadequate mental healthcare for mothers. I don't want to denigrate the NHS, I think they generally do a fantastic job, but they can't be all things to all people and a different approach might be called for.
I had a meeting recently with health visitors, some of whom clearly felt more comfortable once they had pigeonholed Mothers Uncovered as a 'creative group', therefore probably a bit hippyish and insubstantial. Yes, there's an arts element to what we do, but arts therapy is an extremely well established and respected tradition across a wide range of of spheres. What we really offer is peer support and community building. Cameron yarps on about the Big Society, but this is hollow and insubstantial. Our poor NHS is being dismantled along with our education system. It breaks my heart that a few suits in Westminster can have such a detrimental effect on the rest of the country but they do. It's time for us all to stand up for what we want and deserve.
Read the full Guardian article here...