The Juno Team

Lauren Knight, Chairperson2016-01-20 19.27.22

I am a Mummy to two boys, aged 7 and 5 . I was diagnosed with PND in July 2013 at Matthews 16 weeks check up. Being honest I had known for much longer than that but was trying my best to pretend that everything was fine. I completely broke down and felt like the worst Mum in the world, how could I let this happen to me? I was so ashamed. What I realised over the next few months was that it was nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about and that with medication which I visited my GP regularly for and counselling provided by crossreach I could and would get better.

Throughout my recovery I always felt that what would have helped me was to meet Mums in similar situations. With new research showing as many as 1 in 4 new Mums felt this there must be plenty others across Edinburgh? After hearing of others who had set up support groups, I launched the first support group in Longstone April 2014 which became Juno in February 2015.  I could not have imagined what a journey I would go on from there. Through social media, word of mouth and articles in local press.

The obvious demand for this service was incredible. I met some lovely ladies who felt as passionate as me about supporting Mums through perinatal mental health issues and also about breaking down stigma. We felt the service we were providing was much more than peer support. It is creating a network across Edinburgh, pointing people to what support and advice is available, outreach work for those who feel unable to come to groups and a subsidised counselling services for those struggling with waiting on long waiting lists.

I am so proud to be part of something truly amazing which I know can only grow bigger and support as many Mums as possible. If you are reading this and you are newly diagnosed or think you may be suffering from perinatal mental health difficulties I would urge you to please, please reach out and seek help. No matter how useless you feel, how embarrassed or judged by speaking out you will start your journey to recovery and there is a whole load of Mums who have and still do feel the same as you. I got better and so will you.

P1000093Tricia Murray, Vice-Chairperson, Website Coordinator and Treasurer

I have four boys, twins aged 10 and a younger brother aged 8 and a new baby. I was diagnosed with PND when my third son was 9 months old. That experience led me into a career of supporting women and into my involvement with Juno.

I couldn’t believe that I had depression. It was something I just didn’t understand or believe could happen to me until what I can only describe as having a nervous exhaustion.

I’m very passionate about mothers being supported as a way to lower the risk of perinatal mental health, of breaking down the stigma and of the value of Experts by Experience (ie peer support) as a way to support women in their recovery.

Following my own recovery, I decided to start supporting women as a career. I’m now a doula, EFT Practitioner, Birth and Perinatal Trauma Therapist and Mindset Coach.  I am a member of the Maternity Services Liaison Committee for NHS Lothian, a Maternal Mental Health Scotland Change Agent, I support the Managed Clinical Network for Perinatal Mental Health as a lay person and have been invited to the House of Lords and House of Commons as a Maternal Mental Health Campaigner.

I’ve loved being involved in Juno. It’s a vibrant and diverse group of women all coming together to work together to overcome the challenges of Perinatal Mental Health Illness. Come along to our groups and find out more.

Tess AskeTessw, Volunteer

I’ve been attending the Juno groups since it began, and I also joined the committee in the latter part of 2014. My son Ethan is 5 years old. He was born by emergency section after quite a long labour, which was a shock to both mind and body! 5 weeks after Ethan was born I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with Pancreatitis. I spent the best part of 4 months in hospital away from our family, our new baby and our home.

It is hard for me to pinpoint exactly where my PND journey began. I suspect I was experiencing PND at this point but the fight (physically and mentally) to deal with pancreatitis every day overshadowed it. My pancreatitis journey (for want of a better word!) lasted over 18 months. I was officially diagnosed in early 2014 when I had attended my GP with the view that counselling would be best for me, then found out I would have to wait over 12 months for counselling. Luckily my GP is proactive and supportive. She told me about the group and I am so glad I showed up – even though that was very hard!

Juno has been completely invaluable to me and in turn to our family. It allows a safe, supportive, friendly environment for myself and my son at the support group. This has played a massive part in me dealing with my PND and I’m now very passionate about PND sufferers voices being heard and it being treated as the horrific illness it is, trying to make a positive out of such a negative experience. I’ve made wonderful friends through Juno, who have supported me massively. If you are reading this, the same could apply to you! I hope I can now use my experiences this far to maybe help others along the dark path of PND with the offering of friendship and support.

Cat Berry, Volunteer Coordinator

I am Mum to two wonderful children, 7 and 5 years old. When I developed Postnatal Trauma, I was in denial about it for a very long time and simply battled on.

My first baby was born prematurely and needed medical care for a while after birth. Somehow I put all my energies into worrying so much about keeping her alive, that I ignored my own very serious postpartum symptoms. I had thyroid dysfunction which was undiagnosed for 7 months, and a birth injury which took 2 years and 3 operations to heal. It was only 18mths after my 2nd child was born (this time fortunately by c-section) that I admitted to myself that although I had physically recovered by then, the mental scars were still there. I felt exhausted, miserable, lonely and unable to cope.
I found it helpful talking with other mums and realising how so many women suffer perinatal illness but so few people talk about it. Talking about it helps break the stigma and allows us all to begin to heal.  Another couple of years on, having had medication and lots of therapy, things are way much better. I have found TRE (Trauma Release Exercise) very helpful for releasing a lot of the trauma which was trapped in my body. I am now a fully certified TRE practitioner, EFT practitioner and Somatic Trauma Therapist.

I joined Juno in 2016, to help other mums who may be struggling, just as I did. It is a wonderful, supportive organisation and I feel honoured to be part of it.