on Apr 06, 22

Choosing to Move for maternal mental health

For many people walking up Mount Maunganui’s Mauao just once is a good challenge. 

But Josie Rawlinson is planning to walk (or crawl!) Mauao up to 10 times in just one day, to help raise awareness and funds for Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Week in May.

Josie is a Wintec midwifery student “of unremarkable fitness” who wants to make a positive difference for parents experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression.

So she has set up a fundraiser through The Good Registry for PADA - Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Aotearoa, and will walk up and down Mauao once for every $20 raised.

Josie has capped the challenge at 10 trips - but says she might add in an extra challenge if donations top $500. She has already raised more than $200 with a month to go!

The challenge is part of PADA’s ‘Choose to Move’ fundraiser for Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Week.

Josie stepped up to the challenge because she’s passionate about supporting whānau wellbeing.

“How we support whanau as they welcome their babies into the world matters. Research consistently shows that wellbeing in pregnancy, birth and the first years of life can influence long term health – and wellbeing is more than just physical health. It’s emotional, mental, social and spiritual,” Josie says.

“In New Zealand our statistics around mental health are some of the worst in the developed world. I wanted to do something to encourage conversation and to support the work PADA is doing to support people going through this. 

“A lot of the work that PADA does is around education and reducing the stigma - so if people are experiencing anxiety or depression they don’t feel whakamā [ashamed] about coming forward and asking for help.”

In Aotearoa, 25% of women suffer from anxiety or depression during or after pregnancy and 10% of men experience depression after a child is born. 

PADA supports and advocates for anyone experiencing mental illnesses as a result of pregnancy, childbirth or early parenthood. 

The Choose to Move for Perinatal Mental Health' challenge is happening in Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Week, May 1-7. Participants can set their own challenge, anywhere, anytime during that week.

You can find out more and sign up for your own chosen challenge on the PADA website.

Or donate to support Josie’s Mauao challenge here.

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