We are optimistic that every youth worker will be trained in Perinatal Mental Health, knowledge is imperative when trying to spot the signs, giving support and offering understanding of the illness.
We intend to educate young Fathers and Mothers about the issues that surround the mental health illness and how it can affect their relationship, we also aim to provide them with valuable techniques to bring their stress levels down due to the stigma of mental health.
Mothers and fathers at a younger age find it harder to come forward, due to the lack of information and worry Social Services will take their baby away. As we know this in extreme circumstances and support should be in place due to this illness. Young mums which may have been told they are to young to have a child would found it difficult to seek help quicker.
Youth workers who already have the rapport with young families, will have a greater impact within a smaller time frame because they young families feel more relaxed and happier talking to someone in a setting amongst other families their own age. We understand that it's harder sometimes for young parents to come forward due to being told how they're going to cope with a baby. We must have every organisation dealing with families have some basic understanding of this illness that effects millions around the world.
What we are seeing are changes in society where basic needs for companionship, healthy goals, responsibility, connection to others and meaning are not automatically met. Children, adolescents and teens are fed a constant diet of images showing how we are meant to look, sound and be, and told that this is important in life. Meaning is attached to what they have, or look like, rather than what they do, or achieve. Coming from the youth sector myself young people feel success is what they see in the magazines.
Many young parents then turn to negative coping skills and in fear of how they're going to cope alone. Alcohol is a depressant and can prove a potent trigger to low mood, especially in individuals prone to depression. The human brain is still developing until the age of 25 so street drugs like cannabis can have a devastating impact on mental health as well. Many feel that these negative coping are the way to cope with their illness after the baby is born and can have a massive impact on attachment and bonding with the child. Many young parents would feel hard to attend baby groups if feeling anxious or suffering in silence. Education and awareness is very small during the anti natal period and some parents don't really understand it is depression.
Working with young people and in mental health feel for this young parents as they really must feel totally isolated. The isolation of this illness can effect other areas of their lives and distancing themselves from their families is very common. We need to educate everyone and if we want to improve young peoples lives, surely this is the topic we must start with..Perinatal Mental Health.