This has been a long time coming, mamas, but we’re thrilled to introduce Postpartum Progress Online Peer Support Forums!
When I started out as the coordinator for our Warrior Mom® Ambassador program, the one thing I wanted was to create online peer support forums for Postpartum Progress. Today, this dream becomes a reality.
Thanks to Facebook and its groups capabilities, we’re now offering EIGHT(!!) regional support groups for moms suffering from postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, postpartum psychosis, and postpartum PTSD.
Our online peer support forums have been divided and assigned based on geographic regions because we realize that resources and postpartum need varies around the world. Yep. World.
In addition to offering US support, we’re also opening Canadian and International support groups to reach moms around the globe.
Why Facebook for Online Peer Support?
Well, why not? Facebook boasts more than one billion members on the platform, and it’s where many moms find us and their place in our community. We believe in reaching moms where they are and making it easy for them to find support when they need it.
If a mom is online at 2 in the morning, feeding a baby, or unable to sleep, we want to give her a place to go, and chances are, she’s already on Facebook, scrolling through the newsfeed. Now she’ll have a safe space to say what she needs to say about what she’s experiencing, or she’ll be able to read the experiences of other mothers and know she’s not alone.
What About Smart Patients?
Our Smart Patients postpartum depression forum will continue to exist and operate just as it always has. In fact, we believe we’ll see growth there as we’re better able to refer moms who need a little extra support from Heather, our forum moderator, and the Smart Patients staff.
We just believe there can never be too much support for moms, so now we’re offering both.
What Can I Expect?
Our online peer support forums will be moderated by volunteer Warrior Mom® Ambassadors who have completed Mental Health First Aid training. They’ll be the frontline contact for moms seeking support.
Moms will request membership into the group for their geographic region. Our WMA volunteers will reach out to them to provide a copy of our guidelines and welcome them to the group.
Posts will be held in moderation until they can be reviewed by a forum moderator. We want to make sure we protect moms in the forums from potentially triggering information. We believe this will allow us to maintain a spirit of trust and safety in the space.
We know that some of these groups cover large territories, and our plan is that as the groups grow, we’ll subdivide as necessary. For now, choose the group corresponding to your state or geographic region and request membership! (Please only join the group corresponding to your state or geographic region!)
Where Is My Group?
Postpartum Progress Online Peer Support – Northeastern Region: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and DC
Postpartum Progress Online Peer Support – Southern Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia
Postpartum Progress Online Peer Support – Southwest Region: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
Postpartum Progress Online Peer Support – West Coast Region: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington State
Postpartum Progress Online Peer Support – Midwest Region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Postpartum Progress Online Peer Support – Rocky Mountain Region: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada
The research is clear: peer support works to help people overcome their battles with not just maternal mental illness, but mental illness in general. There is power in sharing our lived experiences with others.
At Postpartum Progress, we believe in being innovators, and we know that online peer support is just as relevant and important as face-to-face.
In fact, everyone who works for Postpartum Progress, every Warrior Mom® in our community, every leader for Climb Out of the Darkness, we’re all here because of the Internet. We know the collective power of online communities for support and healing and we’re excited to have you on this new journey with us.