Savannahians "Climb Out of the Darkness" to raise awareness about maternal mental health
Savannah Morning News - 6/24/2019
Statistically one in every seven women will suffer from some form of mental illness around the birth of a child.
And on Saturday local moms set out to raise awareness about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders during Savannah's 2nd annual Climb Out of the Darkness.
Held at Lake Mayer, "The Climb" is an outdoor walk to help raise awareness and funds for maternal mental health. Just after 10 a.m. families converged to share personal stories before walking along the 1.5 mile trail.
"There are 13 climbs happening in Georgia," said Bridget Cross, organizer of Saturday's event. "The idea behind the climb is that it's held on the longest day of the year to shine the most light on maternal mental health issues like postpartum depression and anxiety as well as other issues."
Postpartum depression is the No. 1 complication of childbirth in the U.S., and last year Georgia ranked as having the worst maternal mortality rate in the country, Cross said.
The walk is the world's largest event raising funds and awareness for perinatal mood disorders and services for new families and serves as a major fundraiser for Postpartum Support International.
PSI was founded in 1987 to increase awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional changes that women experience during pregnancy and postpartum. Approximately 15 percent of all women will experience postpartum depression following the birth of a child, according to experts. Up to 10 percent will experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy.
"I actually have postpartum," said Alicia Barksdale, a Saturday attendee. "I was a little afraid to come out because I was afraid of bumming everyone out. But that's part of the problem. We should be talking about this.. . . It feels really good to see this event because I feel like I've been in isolation. You think you're the only one."
The Georgia Chapter of PSI has raised $15,000 so far this year.
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