Melanie Henderson of St. Claude took part in a recent fundraiser called Flora's Walk. She says it's their second year hosting the walk, and explains what it's all about.

"Flora Babakhani was a lady from Toronto whose lifelong dream was to become a mom. that finally became a reality for her. unfortunately, two months after her daughter was born and she committed suicide due to undiagnosed and untreated postpartum psychosis. Despite her family's best effort to get her help, she fell through the cracks of the healthcare system and working, she took her own life. Because of that, the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health collaboration along with Flora's family created a walk in her memory to raise money and to raise awareness and understanding of perinatal mood disorders."

She notes she involved herself in the walk which involved participation in the first year in Winnipeg. 

"They were hosting a walk there and I saw it on social media. So, I thought I would go and join because, after having my daughter in 2021, I struggled really bad with postpartum depression and anxiety. Thankfully, I had lots of support and an amazing doctor who saw the signs and got me the help I needed. But I know that many moms are not as lucky as I am. So, I wanted to help raise some money and awareness about it. I attended the walk in Winnipeg and raised money for that and I shared my story on my fundraising page."

Henderson says the Walk leaders saw that story and asked her the following year to share it. She informed a friend in St. Claude who recommended they host a similar walk in their hometown.

"That's something that really lacks in our community; proper support and proper resources for moms suffering with postpartum mental health issues. We decided that together we would organize the walk. This past year, myself and Roxy Mangin both spoke. I spoke about my own struggles and why we were doing the walk in town here. And then Roxy spoke from a public health perspective about the statistics about perinatal mental health disorders. And then we had one of the instructors from Rhythm Cycle Notre Dame come out and do a quick warm-up with us. She played four tracks and just kind of got us all warmed up. And then we walked around Saint Claude and met back at the Mile 60 Park, where we hosted a barbecue."

The barbecue offered food on a donation basis and they donated to Canadian Perinatal Mental Health collaboration. 

"We raised $900. We raised $450 at the barbecue and then prior to the walk, had raised $450.  It feels really good. It's really nice to see everyone kind of come together and support each other and just show other moms that they're not alone in this. I always say it takes a village and this truly shows that. Even though it may feel like you're alone, you just have to find your village and just have to support one another through this roller coaster that motherhood is." 

She adds it's okay to not be okay. But it's not okay to suffer alone. 

"Reach out to someone, finding someone that you trust. Find someone that you can talk to."