I’m normally standing behind the camera, but in late 2017 I came across an interesting project and decided to step in front of the camera to support and raise awareness about postpartum depression and anxiety.
Coordinated in partnership with the Pacific Post Partum Support Society and the Good Mother Project, ‘We’re In This Together‘ is a photography project and fundraiser that offers messages of encouragement, hope, support and love. An estimated 1 out of every 6 women and 1 out of every 10 men experience troubling depression or anxiety after birth or adoption of a child.
The aim is to photograph and collect personalized messages to share with a mother or parent who may be feeling overwhelmed or distressed or experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety and to let them know that they are not alone.
In addition to the messages that we could write and be photographed with, participants were also able to share their own personal story and why they want to participate. Here is what I had to say…
Our story is one that I do not wish for anyone else.
I chose to participate because there needs to be more awareness of postpartum depression or anxiety. My wife passed away from the effects of postpartum depression and it’s a health issue that has an impact on the whole family.
We tried all sorts of medical and therapeutic treatments, but ultimately our story is one that I do not wish for anyone else. Not only was it an emotional and psychological roller coaster, I have had to find the strength and drive to care for our child and home, especially now living with the grief of losing my wife and my daughter’s mother. My experience has shown me that medical treatments are not the only solution, but just part of an overall support system that should also take into account the history and experiences of moms/dads suffering from PPD, as well as the perspectives of family and/or close friends.
Being more aware during and post-pregnancy of PPD, as well as a support system for PPD, would have been very useful – that’s why having an organization like the Pacific Post Partum Support Society is so important and more awareness is needed for new and current parents and their families and friends.
I chose “It’s ok to not be ok” because it was something that I told my wife while she was in the hospital which seemed to have resonated with her. It gave her some hope and peace to accept her condition/situation while trying to get better. Not only do I remember this, it was also something that she noted in her journal/writings that I still have.