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Postnatal depression and creativity

There have recently been a rash of articles in the press about post natal depression. Stacey Solomon, who appeared in the 6th episode of the X Factor, has also been talking about her post-natal depression and presented a documentary Depression, Teen Mums and Me, on BB3.

“10 – 15% of all new mothers suffer with postnatal depression” [Dept. of Health 2012]

What is being said reinforces what we have known at Creativity Works for some years. Creativity Works has been working with Health Visitors and Children’s Services in B&NES to deliver an innovative project, My Time My Space, [MTMS] since 2004. MTMS provides supportive creative sessions for women with postnatal depression. We have discovered that when women work together with an artist, take part in creative and artistic activities, from jewellery making through journaling to film and textile work, women are able to creatively express themselves, make new friends, gain peer support, promote their well-being and have fun.

“It’s truly transformative. This is a multifaceted approach that meets the needs of women socially, creatively and psychologically” Health Visitor

In an article in The Scotsman Kim Briggs who herself experienced post natal depression supports our own evaluations. She maintains that it was the discovery of her talent for sewing that made a difference for her. From the satisfaction of finding something she was really good at to regaining some control over her feelings, the transformation was immense. “It’s the perfect therapy,” adds Kim. “I make something, look at it and can think ‘I did that’. To see the full article click here.

At Creativity Works we have found that women who take part in one of our MTMS courses also feel that it is the time and space spent together to creatively explore and develop, which enables them to grow, and improves their wellbeing. In the words of one of our mothers:

“ I feel much happier, contented and confident. As a direct result of the group I managed to even secure a job in design and I feel so much more relaxed and at ease.”

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