Fern Britton has made a video for Sport Relief about her struggles with postnatal depression, in a bid to encourage other parents to talk about mental health problems they may be facing.
In an emotional video for the charity, Fern speaks about her difficult experiences after the births of her children, saying, ‘I was lonely, I was isolated, I didn’t feel myself and I wondered where I had gone.’
This isn’t the first time Fern has openly spoken out about her mental health, admitting last year that she’s suffered with depression since her 20’s. In her recent video, she then goes on to explain how bad things got, even admitting that killing herself had crossed her mind. The mum of four continued, ‘When all my jobs were done I would either go manic and clean my entire house or I would go upstairs and think how can I kill myself. I was deeply unhappy and I didn’t know why.
‘When the doctor told me it was postnatal depression, there was a huge sense of relief that I was not going mad.’
Following her video the TV presenter went on to tweet a supportive message to anyone suffering from mental health issues, saying, ‘Don’t be frightened. You are neither mad or bad. There’s no need to walk in the dark woods alone’. X
Fern’s experience isn’t an isolated one. The Royal College of Phsyciatrics claims that postnatal depression affects between 10-15 in every hundred women having a baby. Despite the condition being so common it is still relatively taboo – with many new mothers feeling like they can’t talk about how they feel.
To try and represent this Sport Relief have featured other women’s experiences of mental health struggles on their website alongside Fern’s. The charity, who are best-known for encouraging people to get active say, ‘7 in 10 women hide or downplay their symptoms. Sport Relief hopes to reduce stigma associated with the issue and encourage more women and men to talk about their experiences and seek the support they need.’
After the release of Fern’s video, using the hashtag #MumTalk, hundreds of mums and dads have been inspired to share their own stories via social media in support of one another.
The campaign has had a hugely positive response with one Twitter user, Rosey, saying ‘When I was suffering postnatal depression I needed someone to hold my hand & tell me they got better. I needed Hope @sportrelief #MumTalk’
Have you suffered from postnatal depression or other mental health issues? Share your story below to inspire others or join in the discussion on social media with #MumTalk.