Exmouth mum who survived 'darkest depths' of postnatal depression launches new support group
PUBLISHED: 20:29 06 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:42 06 July 2018
An Exmouth mum who became suicidal in 'the darkest depths' of postnatal depression is using her ordeal to help others by starting a weekly support group.
Panic attacks, sleep deprivation and ‘overwhelming negative emotions’ began to dominate the life of Kelly-Ann Taylor, from near Littleham Cross, three months after her daughter was born, in May, 2016.
Kelly, 29, believes more help could have prevented her own descent into ‘debilitating anxiety’ and suicidal thoughts and is now fundraising to launch Minding Mummy - Exmouth’s only peer support group for families dealing with postnatal mental illness.
The NHS trust responsible for mental health services in Exmouth has welcomed the idea, while revealing details of ongoing investment for perinatal support.
Kelly said: “When you have postnatal depression you feel you are never going to get better; all your hope is gone. It felt like grief; as if someone had told me that somebody had died, every minute of every day, but nothing had happened.”
Kelly was finally referred to a mother and baby unit, in Winchester, after revealing she had become suicidal. And although this kick-started a full recovery, she is keen to highlight the difficulties of travelling so far from home for treatment and the fact and that gaps in support led her to pay privately for therapy.
Kelly said: “Being someone who has experienced the darkest depths of postnatal depression and recovered, my passion is to support other mums and families, especially because the nearest support group is in Exeter.”
A spokesman for Devon Partnership NHS Trust said many women were supported ‘very well’ by existing services, but that local support groups like Kelly’s were often ‘incredibly helpful’.
He added: “In Devon, we have invested heavily in perinatal services for women with more serious needs over the last few years and the level of support that is now available has improved immeasurably.
“As well as having specialist teams to support pregnant women and new mums, we have just opened a four bed Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Exeter.”
Kelly has raised £185 towards her £2,000 target and is now seeking a venue for the weekly meetings, starting later this year. Make a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mindingmummy?utm_id=2&utm_term=5xybmmyzq
Kelly has already set up a private Facebook page for Minding Mummy, to provide an online support forum for people affected by postnatal mental illness, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/396148394204608/