Mothers and designers join forces to create beautiful cards on the occasion of Mental Health Awareness Week
Women have joined forces to create uplifting cards that can be sent to support struggling moms for a mental health awareness week.
Women from across the UK lent their creative talents to design the greeting cards, reflecting the powerful, life affirming and difficult world of motherhood.
The cards, designed in conjunction with the TouchNote map app, are all based on the theme of ‘kindness’ and mark the week of mental health awareness beginning on Monday. All profits go to the Mental Health Foundation.
Each card was created by women who have experienced struggles with low mental health issues in their lives, or who found motherhood too much to bear, and who had the help of loved ones or other mom who supported them through hard times cope.
All cards can be personalized and placed through the app without leaving the house.
“I struggled to cope after the birth of my baby”
Eleanor King, a mother of three, took part in the initiative and said she struggled to cope after the birth of her first baby, but she got back on her feet thanks to a local breastfeeding group
Eleanor’s card is a tribute to the friends she’s made to her local breastfeeding group, as well as a project she’s launched since then, helping hundreds of new moms cope with breastfeeding in the UK
Eleanor King, a mother of three from Southend-on-Sea, took part in the initiative and said she struggled to cope after the birth of her first baby. Because she found breastfeeding particularly painful, she came into contact with a local breastfeeding group.
“After a long labor with my first baby, I vividly remember waking up at three in the morning, while the silent tears of breastfeeding were so painful and tried not to wake my husband”, she said.
“What kept me going was knowing that there was a local breastfeeding group just down the road where I knew I would be welcome.
“I knew there would be other people who understood, who would have been there and would be listened to.”
Eleanor said she had made good friends with the group and was lucky to have been around.
She completed training to become a peer supporter for breastfeeding and later helped other mothers at the childcare center. This led to her completing more breastfeeding training at UNICEF before setting up her own project.
“Since we started, the project has grown stronger. This year we supported 300 families and I trained more than 20 volunteers who also wanted to help other mothers, ”she explains.
‘There are so many expectations from society of women, especially of new mothers. If people can connect and share experiences honestly, kindly, and with care, a lot of healing can take place. ‘
‘I felt isolated after giving birth abroad’
Lucy Parson, a mother of two children aged 11 and 13 from Cheltenham, said she felt isolated during her second pregnancy after moving to Germany with her long-working husband and feeling better thanks to other mothers who supported her
Lucy said that through her exchanges with other moms, she realized that there is no such thing as a perfect mom. She drew flowers on her cards in her mother’s honor
Lucy Parson, a mother of two children aged 11 and 13 from Cheltenham, said she felt isolated during her second pregnancy after moving to Germany with her husband, who worked long hours.
“I also constantly felt that I had to deal with it. This was what women went through and taking care of two young children should come naturally? I met some other moms through an international playgroup and that helped, ”she said.
“I still felt very isolated and alone, terrified and panicked when the kids were sick and every day seemed like a huge challenge. Sometimes it seems like the rest of the world is striving for it and you feel like the only one who is ten steps behind.
“Later, when we went back to England, it was the other mothers at school who helped me realize that none of us are perfect and that we are not supposed to,” she continued.
“Being so much of mama is finding your own way. There is no training. Following your own heart and asking for help when you need it is part of the journey. We all just do our best. Whatever that looks like! ‘
“I put on a brave face as I fight demons”
Sarah Simonds, a mother of two from East Molesey, Surrey, said she was a ‘coper’ who would put on a brave face as he struggled and sank deeper into distress
After years of struggling to find professional help for her depression, Sarah said she learned to cope better with her mental health issues, and she conveyed a positive message in her cards
One of Sarah’s card, titled ‘I’m here for you, always’ shows that one person can keep moms on the floor if they feel they can’t handle it
Sarah Simonds, a mother of two from East Molesey, Surrey, said she was a “fagot” who would put on a brave face as he struggled and sank deeper.
“I depicted an exterior facade saying everything was fine. I never asked for help, it just felt easier to do things myself, “she explained.
What the cards mean
Dan Ziv, CEO of TouchNote, said, “Over the past few weeks, we’ve all shared feelings of fear and yet also seen total kindness. We cannot be prouder of this collection of beautiful cards and their inspiring messages to help mothers and others under great pressure.
“We hope the Art of Kindness helps people share love and hope in these difficult times.”
Mark Rowland, CEO of The Mental Health Foundations said, “We are excited to partner with TouchNote.
‘The proceeds from the sale of the Art of Kindness range will help us protect and improve the lives of millions of people in the UK and beyond. We have been working for a number of years to support young mothers and new parents.
“This is an important moment for the mental health of everyone in the family and it is wonderful to see that this range of cards has been developed by parents in the way that they believe would help most others,” he added.
With the birth of her two sons 13 months apart, Sarah said she decided to give up her job, leaving her feeling isolated and overwhelmed.
“I had no idea at the time that I was having a hard time, I really thought I was coping and this was my new normal,” she said.
“But when I look back, I often found myself crying inconsolably for the least and getting angry about little things. I was still going on, but the world around me was getting closer. ‘
Sarah explained that she no longer saw people and that she later realized that she was suffering from depression and that she was prescribed sleeping pills from one doctor and the other doctor.
She got some advice for her mental health issues and got better with the help of a psychotherapist and art therapy.
“My message to anyone who is struggling after childbirth is simply not ashamed to seek help, don’t give up seeking help if it isn’t offered, make sure you find people who want to listen, because you can’t partner or family, you may need to turn further, “she said.
“I wish there was more open and free help offered when I went through this in the beginning, there wasn’t. It has improved tremendously over the years, and mental health is not now considered such a stigma. ‘
Credit support: Women involved in the card project
Left: Rebekah McDougall, from New Zealand, is a qualified advisor and the founder of Journey to Wellness, a mental health advocacy platform. She said she wanted to encourage people to be kinder to themselves. Right: Helene Weston, a Cornish illustrator, explained that she was a ‘tormented mother of one’ living with multiple sclerosis (MS)
Rebekah’s chart, entitled ‘That what you need’, aims to highlight the power of self-compassion by presenting pots of positive content that moms should look at when feeling overwhelmed
Helene explained that she hoped her illustrations would show moms and dads that they’re not alone. Her card, titled ‘on trend’, is a nod to the new normal during the coronavirus lock, featuring a mom walking with a face mask on her face, gloves and a toilet paper handbag
Heartfull by Catie Atkinson, who also participated in the project, showed with his simple sketch of a mother with two children that having children provided a lot of work, but that it required a lot of work from mothers