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Stronger Together aims to educate, empower postpartum depression sufferers

Kelowna Capital News - 6/5/2019

Becoming a new parent is supposed to be a time of celebration, but for eight to 12 per cent of mothers, it can bring on symptoms of depression.

Depression symptoms starting during pregnancy, or any time up to one year after a child is born, is classified as postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression can affect anyone. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) said although it is most commonly reported by new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents have also reported cases of postpartum depression.

One recommendation CMHA offers to combating postpartum depression is to rely on support groups and share experiences with others who can understand and relate to your story.

Stronger Together Kelowna is doing just that.

A local-based postpartum depression survivors group is hosting an event on Sunday, June 2, to raise awareness about the condition and help shake some of the stigma associated with postpartum depression.

The family-friendly event will be an educational and "empowering" event, Stronger Together volunteer co-chair Pam Nease said. And the money raised at the event will be used to fund CMHA Kelowna Branch "for an issue that's heavily underfunded and often misunderstood."

"After my diagnosis, I fought for my life and I fought for my family," said Megan Stratikopoulos, volunteer co-chair. "Now, I want to help others in their fight against postpartum depression."

"I am a fighter, I am a survivor and with help, all the other families suffering from postpartum depression can be too."

The event, which will take place at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, will feature a panel of experts and speakers, goody bags for the first 100 ticket holders and opportunities to win several door prizes, such as a shopping spree, or signed jerseys from Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis Blues captain) or Andrew Ladd (New York Islanders forward).

A screening of the 2017 Brook Shields documentary When the Bough Breaks — a film that explores causes and treatments of postpartum depression — will take place at noon.

All proceeds from ticket sales and the raffle will go to support the Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna branch for its women's and family programs.

The opening reception takes place at the Rotary Centre for the Arts at 11 a.m. and tickets can be purchased online or by phone.


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