sLisa Tune was one of many women who began to suffer from a perinatal mood disorder within the first year after giving birth.
“I think the biggest misconception people have about maternal mental health is that the disorders aren’t common,” said Tune, of Whitehouse Station in Readington Township. “However, one in five women will experience some type of PMD in the first year postpartum and only 15% of these women will get the help they need.”
Despite having access to doctors and a support system, Tune said she suffered needlessly from a disorder she knew little about.
“Through my experience, I became passionate about raising awareness and advocating for maternal mental health,” Tune said.
It was around this time that Tune heard about Postpartum Support International’s Climb Out of the Darkness, an event aimed at raising funds and awareness for mental health issues related to pregnancy and postpartum.
Tune created the “Climb Out of the Darkness Hunterdon County” branch in June 2021.
“We need to raise awareness about this to make sure women know they’re not alone and what they’re going through is very common and very treatable,” Tune said.
The branch is led by Tune, Alison Gallagher, Michelle Demetriou and Samantha Rojas Citarelli, all of whom have been impacted by perinatal mood disorder.
“We hope our combined efforts will lead to a great event where we can raise awareness and end the stigma associated with maternal mental health disorders,” Tune said.
The group will host the “Hunterdon County 2022 Climb” fundraising and awareness day at 9:30 a.m. on June 25 at Mine Brook Park at 116 Capner St. in Flemington.
“We want to make sure moms and families know that if they’re struggling, they’re not alone and that there’s support for them right here in their community,” Tune said.
Around 10:00 am there will be a welcome and symbolic ‘climbing’ walk around the park followed by food, music, games and raffles. The event will also have multiple vendor tables with lactation consultants, doulas and postpartum specialists.
“Our day will include a performance by Music Together from Flemington, face painting, arts and crafts, tasty treats and the large playground and walking paths at Mine Brook Park,” Tune said. “There will also be an opportunity to win amazing prizes including Kendra Scott jewelry, Shield’s Gymnastics gift cards, Earth Beauty Essentials, Club Pilates, Music Together and more.”
Participants can register online or in person on the day of the event.
This year, Tune said the group’s executives chose to donate 74% of profits to New Jersey-based organization The Bloom Foundation.
“The organization will use the money raised to provide scholarships for peer support leader training, which will help provide safer spaces for mothers to receive the support they may need,” Tune said. .
The remaining 26% of proceeds will be donated to Postpartum Support International and its “Perinatal Action Fun” to train healthcare providers, provide peer support and advocate for mothers and families.
For more information or to register for the Climb Out of Darkness Hunterdon County event, visit https://linktr.ee/climbouthunterdon.
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Vashti Harris can be reached at [email protected].