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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 April, 2005, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Fresh push to battle baby blues
Elaine C Smith
No laughing matter: Elaine C Smith has joined the anti-depression drive
Campaigners are to hold a special day, backed by Elaine C Smith, to highlight post-natal depression.

Bluebell Day will help raise funds for support services around Scotland. The condition is said to be a major killer of women within a year of childbirth.

It is thought to affect more than 10,000 mothers every year in Scotland.

The first Bluebell Day will be on 6 June and bluebell badges will be sold to raise money for services such as counselling for sufferers.

The money will be spent on spreading the message about the condition, showing sufferers they are not alone and that help is available.

The Church of Scotland Post-Natal Depression Project, which is organising the event, hopes to raise 250,000.

I felt very lonely, very tearful, couldn't sleep and just felt overwhelmed by life
Sally Hyder
Mother

Experts work with about 400 families per year. They said that many areas of the country did not have sufficient resources to help those with the illness.

Symptoms include tearfulness, changes in appetite and sleep patterns and a loss of self-esteem.

Sally Hyder, who only sought help after her third child, said: "I felt very lonely, very tearful, couldn't sleep and just felt overwhelmed by life.

"It's ironic because it's just when you want to be at your happiest - you have a new child - and it's just hard, it's so difficult."

'Madly in love'

Elaine C Smith said: "Post-natal depression is something that women aren't supposed to suffer from.

"Women are supposed to have a baby and wake up the next day feeling refreshed and madly in love with their newborn. For thousands of women, this does not happen."

"These new mothers struggle on their own for many, many weeks and months, trying to work out what it is that's wrong with them, that they can't love and care for their baby in the way that they're supposed to.

Pregnant woman
Activists say post natal depression is a major killer

"It is essential that these women get help and support but, most importantly, they must not feel alone."

Campaign leader Viv Dickenson said: "By raising awareness of the incidence and consequences of post-natal depression on a scale never attempted before we hope to help reduce stigma.

"We also hope to enable families that are affected to seek the support which is available to them."

She continued: "The money raised will enable the project to expand its current service provision and respond to areas where help and support are badly needed, as well as initiate research into post natal depression."




SEE ALSO:
My post natal depression battle
23 May 04 |  Health
Test for post natal depression
25 Jun 02 |  Breakfast


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