New support group for new mums

MARK NICHOLLS A new support group has been set up to help mums across Norfolk come to terms with post-natal depression.

MARK NICHOLLS

A new support group has been set up to help mums across Norfolk come to terms with post-natal depression.

The group, called Mums 4 Mums, meets monthly and aims to give mothers an opportunity to chat informally with others who may be suffering mental, or physical, difficulties after giving birth.

It has been set up by Mel Crossley from Wrentham near Lowestoft and Julie Wyatt who lives in New Costessey near Norwich.

Both suffered from post-natal depression and received help from a support group in Norwich.

“We were encouraged to set up this new group by the woman who ran the support group we went to,” said Ms Crossely who is mum to Naomi, 9, and Sasha, 5.

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“What we have set up is an informal monthly support group run by mums for mums, and children, who are recovering from physical and mental difficulties.”

The two women stress that the support group is not meant as an alternative to medical solutions but will help woman who experience PND to meet socially, make new friends and talk through their experiences with others in a similar position.

Mrs Crossley added: “There is still a need for medication and psychological therapies but at the moment such therapies are in a state of distress because of a lack of funding. For women who are ill, it is a very bleak outlook at the moment.

“What we can do is offer sanctuary and support but we cannot offer psychological therapies.

“Women can bring their children or come alone but we are looking to attract new members and want to let people know that we are there and that they can just come along.”

Mums 4 Mums is run on an informal drop-in basis and meets at Bedlam in the Castle Mall, Norwich on the first Friday of the month from 12 noon to 1.30pm. Sessions cost £2.50 and the next meeting is on November 3.

Mrs Wyatt, who has two children Harvey, 11, and Leia 7, said: “I had post natal depression after having a premature baby and all the strains and stresses associated with that.

“When you get depressed you often feel very isolated and alone and it is nice to meet people in the same situation.

“The group is open to anyone who would feel they would benefit from coming along and having a chat to other people without feeling embarrassed.

“Coming out of depression can be scary but if women can talk to other people who have been through it, that can feel like a weight lifted off their minds. We can offer friendship, support and understanding.”

PND can strike in a number of ways. Mrs Wyatt's materialised in a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) while Ms Crossley suffered from acute anxiety.

Anybody who wants more information about Mums 4 Mums can go along to the next meeting on November 3. Future meetings are planned for December 1, January 5 and February 2.