Course to aid recovery of postnatal depression

Kristina Paterson knows from experience how difficult it can be for mums to get help for depression.

A new 10-week course to help women with postnatal depression or anxiety is being offered free of charge, thanks to a partnership between Rodney Women’s Centre and specialist charity Mothers Helpers.

Steps to Recovery is a holistic programme that covers all aspects of depression recovery, from diet and exercise through to self-care, mindfulness and meditation, starting on Wednesday August 23.

The course has been put together by Kristina Paterson, a registered nurse from Maungaturoto who founded Mothers Helpers seven years ago after experiencing delayed diagnosis herself.

“It was my husband who pushed me to get some help in the end – it wasn’t picked up by any of the health professionals I’d seen previously,” she says. “After I was diagnosed, all that was available to me was prescription medication.  The most affordable counselling I could find was $80 a week and that was a real struggle for us as a young family.”

The experience had a huge impact on Kristina and her family, and she became passionate about helping other mothers to get help much earlier. She has found that 65 percent of women who attend the course recover and 51 per cent of all attendees see an improvement in their symptoms.

Mothers Helpers normally has to charge for the course, as it has struggled to secure Government funding for its services.

“We are really excited at having the opportunity to provide a free recovery service to women in Rodney, thanks to private funding,” Kristina says. “But I’m hoping that the Government will increase its mental health spending so we can provide this nationwide.”

She says symptoms of depression or anxiety are all too common, and it is vital for mothers to not feel ashamed, but to get help as soon as possible.

Steps to Recovery will be run every Wednesday from 10am to 12 noon at Rodney Women’s Centre, 10 Morpeth Street in Warkworth, and bookings are essential.

Info: 022 093 1822 or email 

Pink Ribbon volunteers

The annual Pink Ribbon Street Appeal will be held in October and local coordinators are beginning to get organised. Volunteers will take to the streets of Warkworth on October 13. Shona Pickup says the only qualification they need is the ability to smile and rattle a pink bucket for a couple of hours. Anyone who can help, is asked to phone her on 425 4330. Meanwhile, a similar collection will be held in Mangawhai, at the village and the Heads. If anyone can help, they are asked to phone or text Annette on 021 189 6905. Money raised from the appeal is used to support people with breast cancer and fund education programmes.


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