Sadly due to central government funding cuts, we will no longer be running our Great Expectations Groups for women affected by post natal depression and anxiety.
© Mark Bryce, Images of Morningside 2010
The groups have been running across Central Bedfordshire for five years. They first began when it was recognised that joining a support group could be helpful in recovering from PND. Women could learn practical strategies whilst making friends and talking with others who were also affected by post natal depression and anxiety.
Post natal depression is very common. Although awareness of the condition has now been raised in the media, for many parents it can still feel like they are the only person who is suffering. While to them everyone else looks like they are coping.
Research shows that having the regular support of an empathetic friend can make a lot of difference in recovering from post natal depression. Our charity is, therefore continuing to offer our home visiting volunteer support. We encourage people to contact us directly or talk to their Health Visitor, local Children’s Centre or GP and ask to be referred. Our support is confidential and non-judgmental.
Over the years some 200 women have come along to our PND support groups. As we celebrate what the groups have achieved we would like to say a huge thank you to Una Garrett our Group Facilitator. We have greatly appreciated her passion and enthusiasm for supporting women who are going through post natal illness. Our charity would also like to thank Central Bedfordshire Council for providing the funding to enable the groups to exist.
We would lastly like to applaud those who have been brave enough to come to the groups over the years. When you are depressed taking the first steps of coming out of a house and walking into a group can feel like a step too far. Depression can make staying indoors a much safer option. However, over the years our charity has seen long term friendships made. As well as women recovering from the illness and their children growing and thriving. We would like to leave the final words to some of the Great Expectations Group members:
“Thank you for running the groups. The group was a real lifesaver for me.”
“It was such a relief to go somewhere where you didn’t have to pretend and others knew how you felt.”
“The group was a literal lifeline when I was unwell and I’ve made some real friends for life through it.”
UPDATE: We are very pleased announced that our charity has now been funded to run a new PND support group. The Brighter Start Group offers postnatal depression help in the Dunstable area.