the long and winding week


things are ok.  i ended up calling the local ppd phone line during the kids' naptime.  that was helpful.  i was also able to chat with a good friend on gmail.  that was really good too.  sometimes typing is easier than talking.  you don't necessarily have to form your words in the same way.  and if you feel like crying you won't choke on your words and your friend doesn't have to awkwardly ask you to repeat whatever you were trying to get out.

i can still feel it in my body.  my head feels really buzzy and fuzzy.  my chest is still tight.  my thought process leans heavily towards negative cycles.  it's been sunny and surprisingly warm this week which has definitely helped my spirits.  i have been doing my best to catch my brain before it spirals down a rabbit hole and redirect it to positive thoughts and emotions.

i have been perusing the inspirational "tumblr" of for the past week for project ideas.  there is so much fantastic art and design that i sometimes wonder why i even bother.  i loooove this MADMEN poster designed by RADIO

i honestly can not even tell what medium was used to create this sort of image.  it resembles the vintage style ads that were obviously not created in a computer program but i can't imagine that this one was NOT created in a computer program...

i have been a lifetime fan of the 60's style of illustration and was planning on using this style for my future infographic/storytelling posters.  

i really am into the map/storytelling idea right now.  i love this DEXTER one because it tells a story without words and i feel this would work extremely well with the fairytales since everyone already knows the stories and will be able to recognize certain scenes or objects that in combination recreate the well-known fairytale.

on today's outing, my thoughts bounced back and forth between my fuzzy head and illustrations.  it occurred to me that one way of creating successful work that i have seen/read time and time again is to DO WHAT YOU KNOW.  feeling so grateful to past mothers that created a support group for ppd, i felt it would be a great idea to illustrate my feelings and possibly create a pamphlet for ppd.  there is not a lot of research that has been done, largely because feelings of guilt keep a lot of mothers from opening up about their ppd (whether or not they know they have it).  the lady who answered my call emailed me a reading package and one of the files provided a history of it in BC, which i will paste at the end of this post for anyone interested.  anyway, i thought it would be a nice way of showing thanks and contributing in a way that i am able.  one of the best things for anyone with ppd or depression in general is to feel like you are being heard, to have your feelings validated and feel like you are not alone, that there are others out there that understand.  all the workers and volunteers are past mothers that went through ppd and are screened for quality and knowledge of what it was like and more importantly, how they were able to get through it.  

mother's day is pretty much the most important day of the year.  when you become a mother, you immediately feel like a toad for every little thing you remember or imagine you did to make your mother's life hell.  you see your mother in an entirely different way.  all their faults melt away and they suddenly graduate from nagging know-it-all to heavenly saint (ok, so they sometimes revert back to nagging know-it-all that drives you crazy but it is more forgiveable...).  i don't know how my mother survived our teenage year and i live in terror everyday for what karma will bring me when my time comes.  nobody can explain what it's like...  it is funny how it really does feel like a secret club.  it's a lifelong initiation.  every single new mom after me has told me "you really DO NOT KNOW what it's like until it happens and there is no explanation that could ever come close".  and it is so true.  and there is no turning back LOL.  

A PPD History
The Early Days

Our work began in 1971 when a small group of women began meeting to share their experiences and to support each other. This new approach to the issue of postpartum depression has influenced changes in postpartum support worldwide since that time.

Post Partum Counselling started at the Vancouver Crisis Center in response to the needs of all women afflicted with PPD. In January 1972 the program expanded when the Crisis Center was given the services of two Master's degree students. Together, the mothers and the students defined how it felt to be depressed, and the necessary steps to recovery. As the women recovered they became telephone support volunteers. These women stayed in close contact with the mother they were helping and with the students. This established the pattern for our treatment model.

From April 1972 to October 1973, we received funding through the Local Initiative Project grants (2 people). From October 1973 to April 1, 1975 we were sponsored by the Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Health Department. The money came initially from federal and provincial funds. With this money we were able to rent office space, have our own telephone and two full-time paid staff.

Post Partum Counselling

By now, the service was called Post Partum Counselling Service. After a brief period under the Vancouver Resources Board, Post Partum Counselling became a part of the Ministry of Human Resources in 1976.

By 1979 the service involved a two-part program and six staff members —two part-time and four full-time. The first part was providing the mother with a telephone support volunteer. The second part entailed the mother attending a weekly support group led by a staff member. This group was open-ended and on-going so women could enter the group and leave as they became ready.

In response to the needs expressed by people in the program, Post Partum Counselling evolved and expanded. A monthly Men's Information Night was started, and family counselling made available.

In December 1983 the Provincial Government terminated the Post Partum Counselling Service as part of its fiscal restraint.

 Pacific Post partum Support Society

Throughout 1984 a group of ex-staff and ex- telephone support volunteers worked to reorganize the program. The Pacific Post Partum Support Society was incorporated in August 1984. A small program was run on a purely volunteer basis. For the first time, women were charged for the service. We continued to use the two part model (telephone support and support group) which we had found so effective.

From September 1984 through April 1985 we operated out of West Side Family Place. For a nominal fee we shared their office space and used their facilities for meetings and to operate one support group. We very much appreciated their support.

In 1987 we printed the first edition of our book, Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: A Self-Help Guide for Mothers. Now in its seventh edition, thousands have been sold here and internationally.

Where We Are Today

Currently, we have seven support groups offered in the Lower Mainland of BC. We provide over 100 Mother and Baby interactive talks each year, reaching over 1400 mothers.  We host Partner Information Nights to help partners understand postpartum depression and its treatment and offer telephone support not only to mothers, but also to partners and other family members.  Our group facilitators are often invited to present at international conferences and to teach facilitation workshops throughout western Canada.

We provide training for our Group Facilitators and Telephone Support Volunteers.  The trainees are most often members of our own former client base – women who have recovered from a postpartum depression.

In 1988-1990 the Ministry of Health funded us to train volunteers from 13 other communities in British Columbia as group facilitators.  We continue to offer these trainings up to twice per year.  Many participants are sent by their employers with the intention of initiating postpartum support groups in their own communities.

Our present core funding is through private donations and a combination of provincial contracts and various grantors who generously support our programs.


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