A new dad and mums from across Northern Ireland have joined forces to launch a mental health campaign aimed at breaking down barriers of guilt, shame, loneliness, embarrassment, fear, confusion and other stigmas associated with perinatal depression and anxieties. The campaign #TakeAMoment will encourage new parents, and indeed everyone, to prioritise their mental health.
The parents backing the campaign feature in a no holds barred short film which can be viewed at www.momenthealth.io where they share their own varied experiences of parenthood in an open, honest, often emotional, frank and very personal way.
Zimbabwean mum of two Bybit Areketa (34) is the Director of Mental and Emotional Wellness Trust and has been living in Whiteabbey for 9 months. Bybit said: “I am passionate about every aspect of mental health and this includes maternal mental health. Being a mum myself has opened me up to the mental and emotional challenges and experiences that come with this role. As a result, I’m grateful to be part of this #TakeAMoment campaign, to help improve mental health in mothers.”
First time dad Liam Brogan (33) has a three month old daughter. He is a chartered accountant and lives in Belfast. Originally from Hilltown, Liam says he now fully appreciates the rollercoaster of being a new parent. He said: “As a new dad I can fully appreciate the rollercoaster that new parents are on and it’s good to know that the Moment Health app exists to help those who may be finding everyday life as a new parent daunting. I have found the app very beneficial in helping me be better informed about paternal mental health.”
Creative entrepreneur Aly Harte (37) from Belfast is mum to three boys and knows all about the highs and lows and the joy and pain of motherhood. Aly said: “I found the Moment Health app and online community to be the bridge from loneliness to community which is a great resource for connecting with mums at a similar stage in life. The mood tracker is invaluable for knowing when to just #TakeAMoment for yourself. I encourage women who attend my art workshops to love themselves from their brains to their bones and I think we’re all guilty of comparing ourselves to others, when we all really need to take a moment and link with others in similar situations to give each other support.”
Orla McKeating (36) has a six year old son and owns a coffee shop and roastery in South Belfast. Speaking about her involvement in the #TakeAMoment campaign, Orla said: “It’s really important to raise the volume on maternal mental health and reach out to people who are struggling. The Moment Health app is a great way of enabling you to monitor your mood and, if you see any warning signs, seek help.”
Forty seven year old mum of three Vivian McKinnon is a transformation change therapist and wellness consultant. She lives in Carrowdore and believes that welcoming a child into the world is about the birth of a mother too. Vivian said: “The Moment Health app provides the privacy and discretion for mums to be able to note their feelings and emotions in their own home where they can be honest about how they are coping with motherhood. I believe it’s vitally important and midwives should be recommending this app to new mums across Northern Ireland. I am very passionate about mental health recovery and supporting people to be their true authentic self. Becoming a mummy can be overwhelming and I just love the whole ethos behind the Moment Health app.”
Jean Barrett Quinn (34) has a one year old son and lives in Hillsborough. Originally from Tullamore in Co Offaly, Jean is an image consultant and Humanist wedding celebrant. Jean always considered herself strong and mentally prepared for birth and how to deal with what would come after but says that nothing prepares you for what’s ahead. Jean said: “It’s really important that more is done about maternal mental health. It’s easier with peer support as I have five friends who all had babies around the same time and we support each other and can share our ups and downs. I can totally understand though how, without support, you could easily fall into a dark place and that’s why it’s so important to #TakeAMoment for yourself. By downloading the Moment Health app you can track your mood and keep an eye on yourself every day so you can seek help if you need support.”
Mum of one Lindsay Robinson (36) from Belfast is a maternal mental health campaigner who believes that the Moment Health app needs to get into the hands of mums and dads across Northern Ireland to help with early intervention and access to support. Lindsay said: “It’s so important that we all have the space to share our stories, to help each other and to remind us that we are not alone. I love that Moment Health offers hope and community”.
With 20% of women and 10% of men experiencing symptoms of post natal depression and associated anxieties, the campaign aims to encourage parents to download the free Moment Health app on iOS and Android and #TakeAMoment to seek the help they deserve from tracking their moods and emotions to locating services in their area and accessing a secure online community of like minded parents.
Speaking about the launch of #TakeAMoment, Moment Health CEO and founder, Nuala Murphy, said: “I believe we have a responsibility to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of new and expectant parents and those that care for them, at home, in the workplace and across our communities. When we do through early intervention, we have the potential to affect the mental health of future generations, so I want this campaign to assist with early intervention. I would encourage everyone to #TakeAMoment to consider their mental health and be empowered with the knowledge they need to seek help and recover.”
#TakeAMoment, download the Moment Health app free on iOS and Android. Apple Store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/moment-health/id1291754124; Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.momenthealth.app.
For organisations wishing to support their employees and their families, please check out https://momenthealth.io/for-your-staff.html.