I just learned about a really inspiring event to raise awareness of postpartum mood disorders, like the ones we’ve been writing about this spring. Postpartum Progress is sponsoring an event called Climb Out of the Darkness, to be held on the solstice, the longest day of the year–in the United States, this is June 21.
There are climbs or hikes planned in cities around the country (and several other countries), meant to be a metaphor for women who are in the middle of the grueling climb out from the darkness of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, PTSD, or other postpartum mood disorders. Often, these women believe they are alone in their struggle or are shamed into silence when they try to speak up.
In their honor, women are joining forces to prevent this. As Postpartum Progress writes, “Help us shine the light of hope with our words and our advocacy efforts so that our fellow mothers will receive better information and better treatment, and their families will get off to a healthy and strong start.”
So how do you take part? There are several options.
You could do an individual hike or climb, which means you and/or your family can pick your own physical challenge (maybe just a long, hilly walk?), register, and then fundraise as an individual.
You could join one of the group climbs in your area and help them raise funds and awareness for this important cause. I was excited to learn there’s one happening right here in Pittsburgh, and another one just west of me in Moon Township. Maybe there’s one right by you?
Or! You could organize a climb in your own city if there’s not one nearby.
This is a fundraising event, so the organization is hoping each person will raise $100, although registration is free.
The money raised through the event will be spent on:
- Free educational materials in obstetrician and pediatrician offices
- Programs like Postpartum Progress’s award-winning blog and private support forum for struggling moms
- Advocacy for better support, less stigma and increased services for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders
Now to get out and get climbing for all those families affected by this darkness!
Have experienced a postpartum mood disorder? Which organizations or support offerings were most helpful for your family?