Ashley Ritter wrote -
Hi, my name is Ashley. I'm leading a team for the Climb Out of the Darkness Walk, 2015 to raise awareness about a topic near and dear to my heart. In 2014 I lost a dear friend to complications from what was most likely post partum psychosis. Still there is so much shame, stigma and confusion about post partum complications like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, postpartum bipolar disorder, and pregnancy depression and anxiety. My friend "E" knew she was struggling, but was so traumatized by the stigma that "this" was actually happening to her.
This has to stop. Nearly 1 million women each year struggle through this challenge, and many of them struggle alone without seeking help.
I too have walked this journey as a survivor of PTSD from my first birth in 2011. It is only years later that I have been able to put words to what I was actually going through during that tough and challenging season.
For this reason, I'm gathering friends, family, and whoever else would like to join me in solidarity around this topic. It is my belief that in community with others we find power, hope, and the ability to dispel lonliness, isolation, and unnecessary stigma around the challenges we walk through. Would you join me in triumph and hope on this special day?
Even more, I am someone who has lived in the city for over 10 years (on all sides too! South, West and North!). I'd like to continue to build momentum and awareness in our city around this topic. If you're a mom who is already engaged in Mom groups around the city, come on out and let's work toward this together! Whether you yourself have had experience with one of these complications, or just want to show support to other women, you are welcome. Partners, Spouses, Family and kids welcome too.
Celeste (The other Downtown Chicago leader) and I are communicating and excited to combined our team locations for the day to continue to create a united experience here in the city.
See below for more information about the organization!
Postpartum Progress’ Climb Out of the Darkness™ is the world’s largest event raising awareness of maternal mental illnesses like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, postpartum bipolar disorder, and pregnancy depression and anxiety. Climb Out is held on or near the longest day of the year annually to help shine the most light on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The event features mothers and others across the globe joining together to climb mountains and hike trails to represent their symbolic rise out of the darkness of maternal mental illness and into the light of hope and recovery. Funds raised support the 501c3 organization Postpartum Progress (http://postpartumprogress.org) We can’t wait for Climb Out of the Darkness 2015, to be held Saturday, June 20th. Mark your calendars!