A children's book, looking at PND through a child's eyes.

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Monster Day

I wrote this post a whole ago when I initially wanted to help spread the word about my book…and then got chatting to various people and charities on Twitter and discovered that so many wonderful charities and people who have had post natal depression would like to work together and create a PND Awareness week here in the UK. It’s definitely an illness that needs to be talked about more!

This is what I wrote back then when I began to think about it, I did link it to my book…but of course this doesn’t have to be set in stone. Collaboration and working together will be amazing, I just wanted to post this to show my commitment and to get the ball rolling so to speak…let me know what you think…

Last week in Australia it was PND Awareness week, with the key phrase #bePNDaware. Among many other things there is a huge social media campaign with people changing their twitter avatars and writing blog lists telling their stories. People are talking about PND, raising awareness of the illness, smashing the stigma.

Sadly Post-Natal Depression affects more than the 10% to 15% of those diagnosed. Far too many suffer in silence. Fearing they will be judged, that their children will be taken away, that they are failures as mums and believing the nasty voices in their heads that say they are worthless and the world would be a better place if they were no longer a part of it. Last week three mums took their lives because of the illness and I found myself grieving for mothers and children and families I didn’t know. Last week I decided I wanted to help even more.

Many charities and parenting websites and Internet forums run their own mental health awareness weeks and PND awareness weeks, but as far as I’m aware there is nothing national, nothing set in stone to raise PND awareness. I recently had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Daisy Griffiths at Blogfest who suggested a sort of Monster Day (it may end up being called something else!) to link in with my book. In the same way that Movember and growing a moustache raises awareness for prostrate cancer without being directly linked, Monster Day could do the same for PND. It would get people talking, and listening to real women and men talk about their experiences. There would be a wealth of information fed out through the day about where you can get help and what you can do if you are suffering or know someone who is. PND affects women and men, and takes hold of their families who are all help in its vice like grip. Husbands could get information about how to support their wives and partners, older siblings could be reassured it’s not their fault and it won’t be like this forever and meet others in the same situation,

Maybe on Monster Day you could stomp like a monster, or pull a face like one. You could do the best monster roar, or draw a new monster? Bake monster cakes, write blog stories about them. Blog about your experiences? As you can see this idea is VERY much in its infancy and I have a lot to work through yet in setting it all up. It wouldn’t necessarily be about raising money, but it would definitely be about raising awareness and facilitating conversations about the illness and helping people find ways of coping, getting through it and getting better.

I appreciate I am only one tiny little woman, and that getting this up and running and off the ground would take an awful lot of hard work and support, but I am prepared to work as hard as I can to help as many people as I can.

So are you with me?


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Ebook Reviews

‘From my perspective as a parent with mental health issues, this hits all the right notes.’

‘It is a great starting point to an open conversation between a mum and child who are in this situation.’

‘This reassuring book is a gentle yet moving look at depression, seen through the eyes of a bewildered child.’

‘It will be a great tool in helping to develop a child’s emotional intelligence.

Review of A Monster Ate My Mum

A delightful, endearing tale of how a young boy navigates the path of his Mum’s inner battle with postnatal depression. It speaks volumes of the loss and despair that occurs, not just from the perspective of the adult, but that of the child.

The joy and beauty of the tale is that of hope. Her smiles, laugh and spark will be returned to her and that she will get better. More importantly, that it wasn’t the child that had made her feel this way.

It would be such a gift to see this enriching tale made available to all women who experience the devastation of low mood, anxiety and depression within the perinatal period.

I for one recommend it wholeheartedly.

Claire Murphy
Group Leader – Butterflies PND Support Group

Paperback Reviews

‘I’d like to thank Jen for writing this hugely important book.’

‘This is something so truly special, something that someone has gifted I feel, to those parents who have had post natal depression.’

‘It’s a really clear and simple to understand book, which flows very easily thanks to the rhyming words Jen uses.’

‘I would love to see this book in all settings, children’s centres, schools, nurseries and in homes up and down the country.’

‘I would say this book tackles a personal and often devastating subject very well.’

‘This is a brilliant book for children who have a parent struggling with depression.’

‘It’s an amazingly therapeutic effect, drawing open a mother’s mind to see PND from the perspective of those around her – from personal experience this can be a huge motivational tool to encourage change as well as the active pursuit of help.’

‘I view A Monster Ate My Mum as a useful tool in tackling PND.’

”Little L loved the book, she continued to ask questions throughout which is always a good thing as it shows she’s listening and taking it in.

More reviews of the paperback version of the book are coming soon…they’ve been sent out to the reviewers!!