Post-Natal Depression

At Safe Families for Children we consistently see a recurring theme: even when our volunteers’ required input could be seen as minimal, the output it can have on supported families is very often extraordinarily maximal. The impact of the work our volunteers do goes deeper than what one can see at face value. Sometimes there is more going on under the surface and the smallest act of compassion is enough to touch the heart of the hurting.

We recently experienced this in helping out the father of 10-month old twin boys. Mum was suffering from post-natal depression and had little time to spend with the twins in between her university studies. So dad was the rock of the family; supporting mum with her depression and catering to the boys’ needs. The house was also in need of maintenance and care – another responsibility for dad to handle – especially a space for the twins who were in a makeshift bedroom in the living room.

Not many of us could manage to stay on top of it all, and although dad tried his utmost, he was understandably struggling on his own.

Safe Families got involved and provided two volunteers to go round every Tuesday, and another pair to visit every Thursday. During their visits, one volunteer would care for the boys whilst the other assisted dad in any DIY tasks, housework or home maintenance. In addition to this basic form of help, Safe Families volunteers provided dad with some valuable companionship.

It’s difficult to fully take in the emotional and psychological ramifications of being alone in the house every day with the huge responsibility of looking after 10-month old twins, and taking responsibility of the house duties, and supporting mum’s depression. Dad was on the brink of entering a depression of his own…

But our volunteers’ fantastic work has, in dad’s own words, ‘made a massive difference’.

Not only has the house been returned to a fit state after being de-cluttered and repaired but the twins’ bedroom has been completed, freeing up the living room of cots and clothes to return it to a place of relaxation once again. On top of the house having a more enjoyable and habitable environment, dad received much needed emotional support from our volunteers and is now in a better place mentally thanks to them.

All of us are capable of offering our assistance in one way or another. In this case, it was through a bit of manual work, some babysitting and a compassionate geniality.

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