The Happy Mums Foundation is starting a new project which will give mums and pregnant women across north, east and west Cumbria access to support groups for mental health problems.
The Happy Mums Foundation was set up by Cumbrian woman Katherine Dalgliesh, because of the lack of support she found for mums going through mental illness. This hindered her own recovery after severe post-natal depression and led to her launching the #MumsTogether project in 2017.
Since then, Happy Mums has supported more than 200 women in small peer-support groups and become a lifeline for countless mums and families.
One mum said: “I thought I was alone. Completely alone. I now have a space where people totally get what I’m saying and what I’m going through. I see mums where I was months ago and I can help them – and I see mums well into their recovery and feel hope that I’ll get there too.”
Local health professionals support the role we play in improving the mental health of women they also work with: “For each individual that Happy Mums helps and supports a child is receiving a happier, healthier childhood. Families are benefitting from a family-encompassed approach and mums are being empowered.”
The new #HappyMumbria project will be led by Sarah Penn, who has gone from a group member, to volunteer, and now employee: “This time last year I couldn’t work because of the mental health problems I had after having my daughter, but with the help of Happy Mums I’ve been able to get an important part of myself back.
“Hopefully women who are in that dark and lonely place now, will find hope in my story that they too can find a way through.”
Executive director Katherine Dalgliesh said: “I’m delighted we can not only carry on our existing work, but also have the potential to grow into new communities and empower women to run their own groups.
There is such need for the safe space we provide, at a time when mothers feel more isolated than ever.”
Initially groups will be run online using Zoom but will move into communities in Carlisle, followed by Eden and west Cumbria, once lockdown eases.
The two-year project will reach a further 160 Cumbrian women, through 250 staff-run support meetings, as well as starting three volunteer-run groups.
The Happy Mums Foundation CIC