“Let’s start this discussion!” posted a very brave Tiffany on our private MOPS Facebook Group. What was the discussion about?
Post Partum Depression.
My job as a Mentor Mom is to listen. I have listened to Tiffany and many others, heard their thoughts, and accumulated some resources. Now I want to share! Click here to see the FB Live from Monday.
Let’s talk–openly–about PPD.
Our stellar Leadership Team books a a licensed therapist to speak to our group about Post Partum Depression once a year. I think that is brilliant! Some moms may find it boring to hear the same talk, or something quite similar every year, but if it reaches one mom, it is worth the boredom of every other mom.
Why? Because I learn something new that blows me away. Every. Time. And so will our moms.
How Do Our Moms Understand PPD?
On the same conversation thread, Mandy posted: “Understanding PPD is an umbrella term that includes many mood disorders and symptoms (anxiety, ocd, intrusive thoughts, panic, depression, isolation etc), can even start during pregnancy and is treatable with the right support and community ❤️❤️”
There are multiple older generations of moms who went through Post Partum Depression with no professional help or understanding. Traditionalist and Boomer women have a very high rate of Chronic Depression, and I think untreated PPD could be an underlying cause.
How do we spot symptoms?
When you are sitting at the MOPS table, or any other table, and the group is engaged in discussion, watch for
- the person who doesn’t engage
- The person who makes direct statements using the keywords below
- Listen for indirect statements
Keywords or phrases you are looking for:
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling trapped
- Unbearable pain
- Being a burden to others
- Having no reason to live
- My kids would be better off without me
- Killing themselves
What should you do?
- Take it seriously
- Don’t ignore it
- Don’t debate the value of life
- Don’t minimize their struggle
- Don’t give advice
Recognize: “Thank you for your courage to share your heart, you are not alone…”
- Brené Brown talks about empathy in a short animated video . Use it as your mini-training for how to help
- We want to connect: “I don’t even know what to say to you right now, but I’m so thankful you shared.”
- Don’t judge – that’s hard.
- Don’t make light of it.
- Join the person in their suffering.
- Gather your group to pray for their table mate mom.
Refer: “There is free confidential help 24/7!”
- Make sure you have the helpline numbers in your cell phone so you can share.
- What referral sources does your church use for people who need counselors?
- Is there reduced or no-pay options?
- Is there a staff person who handles care or benevolence at your church?
- Ask for permission to share their information first. If they refuse, remind them that Jesus comes after the one lost sheep and, right now, they are the one. Who do they consider a shepherd in their life? Tell THEM what is going on.
- Follow-up with the person within 24 hours and every 24 hours depending on how your gut tells you they are doing.
- Are they sounding better?
- Have they taken any baby steps?
- If they “ghost” you—avoid your calls or texts—feel free to badger or show up.
Please join this conversation! Share this liberally with all the people you know who could benefit from this information. Share your best tips, scriptures or inspirations with our readers. Mentors want to get better at this. Your information may be the link that someone needs for a struggling mom today!
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If you would like the Referral Information I have accumulated, sign up for my weekly enewsletter and I will include it as an attachment on Monday. The document is not exhaustive because we aren’t mental health professionals. We just need to know where to send someone for help. You will find:
- all the national numbers to store in your cell phone
- an example from Arizona, our community and our church to use as a template to create the list for moms in your state, community and church
- “Luna’s List,” a list of effective responses to someone who is depressed written by Luna Leverett from the podcast “Confessions Behind the MiniVan.” Luna is an extraordinary former MOPS mom, now speaker, who struggles with bouts of depression. Her inside information will make us better at spotting symptoms, responding to a mom, and helping a mom get the help she needs.