I’d just had my baby, a little girl, and felt I’d like to do some volunteering for a couple of hours a week while she was little. There have been mental health problems in my family so I immediately thought of Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, not sure of which service I wanted to volunteer in.
I got in contact and they took my details. It felt like a coincidence when they said they thought I’d be good fit volunteering for the Mums in Mind service because I hadn’t told them beforehand that I’d suffered postnatal depression for two years following the birth of my first child.
I’ve been volunteering for the service for three and half years now and in that time have helped seven mums with young babies. I think it’s important to be there for someone and allow them to feel as though they’re not being judged. It helps them to know that I’ve been through it myself and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I like being there to reassure people because I had counselling for my postnatal depression and know how being listened to makes a big difference. Postnatal depression is such a horrible feeling.
Mums in Mind is such a great service and my role is to help mums socialise with their babies so I research what’s available near where they live and take them along to stay and play events.
I remember the first mum I supported through Mums in Mind; she had a lot of anxiety and was struggling, but I recently saw her at the gym and she said because of me she’s doing so many things. The benefits are not just for the mum, it’s for the child, too.
Not long after I started volunteering for Coventry and Warwickshire Mind I realised counselling is the job for me and I’m now in the final year of studies for a diploma in counselling.