Raindrops to Rainbows ‘HOPE’ Event for Maternal Mental Health (April 2017)

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This May will see the UK’s first Maternal Mental Health Awareness week, coordinated by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership - a small group of health professionals, charity leaders, mental health campaigners and advocates with lived experience of perinatal mental illness.

The UK Maternal Mental Health Matters campaign that the Partnership have been planning will run during the first week of May 2017, as this coincides with World Maternal Mental Day on 3rd May.

To celebrate this week, Raindrops to Rainbows has joined forces with LD Design and EnA Photography to create a week-long art and music showcase.

Ian Allcock of EnA Photography said: “I first became aware of Raindrops to Rainbows in 2016 when I was asked to shoot a charity gig they had arranged. I had no prior personal experience of PND but had lost a friend to it who felt she couldn’t continue her battle. When Steph Addison asked if I would shoot images for the HOPE event I was both honoured and nervous. I have since discussed and researched PND in depth to gain a deeper understanding.

“What I ‘Hope’ I have done in shooting the images you see at the event is convey a very difficult set of feelings that sufferers experience. The same words such as disconnection, despair, self-hate, guilt, gear and also strangely happiness kept being repeated. These emotions are what, with the help of some brilliant subjects and creative input from Lauren Duncan of LD Design, I have tried to demonstrate in the images you see exhibited.

“Many thanks must go to Natalie and Albi Donnelly, Emily Timofte and Jamie Hill and family for being wonderful patient models.”

The event, which will be held at Edge Bar in Stockton-on-Tees, will have a range of artwork on display from local artists and photographers, ranging from images to paintings, each providing an insight to the thoughts, feelings and emotions on the journey of a perinatal mental illness such as postnatal depression. The event opens on Monday 1st May, and will include live music from Marie Marx, Charlotte Grayson, Freeman, plus many more.

During the week, Raindrops to Rainbows are providing free workshops; Creative Writing with Dr Natalie Scott, Creative Art with Claire Barratt (creator of the popular Claireabella range) and Songwriting with Marie Marx. You can register for these free workshops by visiting their Facebook page or directly from Eventbrite.

The closing event takes place on Friday 5th May, with live music from Twister, The Unsound, Komparrison, plus many more.

In terms of Raindrops to Rainbow, it’s a voluntary organisation that focuses on Perinatal Mental Health. The Founder, Stephanie Addison, suffered with postnatal depression after having her second child and found that there had been very little in the way of support. Through sheer hard work and pure determination, Raindrops to Rainbows was formed and now offers a number of peer-led support groups for maternal mental illnesses across the North East, including Stockton and Billingham.

Having set up these weekly peer support groups, which are solely focused on mothers and their mental health, Raindrops to Rainbows have recently launched a new joint project named PopStart - a fathers mental health support group which focuses on new dads with mental illnesses or supporting partners through a mental illness.

For more information on the services that Raindrops to Rainbows offer, please visit their official website or contact the team via email at info@raindropstorainbows.co.uk.

Photography by enaphotography.co.uk.


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