Earlier this week, in a sort of rug-from-right-underneath you move, Postpartum Progress announced that it would shut down completely. I’ve sat on the news a bit, scanning comments and googling articles (I’ve not found many) to see what I could find about the collapse of the national nonprofit that served as a pillar in the PPD community. The company, and its founder Katherine Stone, were facing serious and founded allegation that there was company-wide mistreatment of WOC. At first, it seemed that Postpartum Progress was readied to face the allegations and make right what they could in the company. Tuesday January 28th, they released a formal statement stating that they would be closing “in accordance with our bylaws and all applicable laws.”
The backlash from this decision has been formidable. Postpartum Progress is certainly not the only organization dedicated to helping mothers who face perinatal mood disorders, but it was a leader in the movement to open the conversation up and provide help for women suffering from a variety of disorders. Many—including myself—see it as a bullshit move to just burn it to the ground.
I’ve seen comments reminding me to slow my reign of terror a bit and remember that this is a nonprofit run by real people with a real woman who suffered from Postpartum Anxiety and OCD at its helm. Indeed, she has every right to run her company as she sees fit. But, I’m also allowed to think that closing is a selfish move.
This organization moderated the most widely-read blog about the mental illness/wellness issues faced by mothers. It’s website offered information, support, and a community which I considered myself to be a part of. I participated in my first Climb Out of The Darkness walk last year after going public with my PPD story as part of Listen to Your Mother. Our Chicago Team raised thousands last year alone—and we were among other teams nationwide who were raising money to assist women struggling to get treatment for their perinatal mood disorders. These women, warrior moms who’ve bested their illnesses, or new moms still in the grips of them, are left without a very necessary place of support. Conferences were scheduled, donations were made and poof—nothing. Who will help the warrior moms in their fight?
I’m thankful to know others who keep a very important dialogue about Postpartum Depression (my personal illness) and Postpartum Anxiety active. I’m aware of two other organizations in IL that can assist women looking for help including the groups linked below. I’d love to learn of more. Still, I’m left feeling in the lurch, and I’m almost three years out from my diagnosis. My heart breaks for the women who were actively using this resource.
***Edited to add two additional resources thanks to a reader!
The NorthShore MOMS Line (866-364-6667) is staffed 24/7 by licensed counselors who can provide support, education, resources & referrals
Posts that might interest you:
My PPD Experience with Listen To Your Mother
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