Working in social media, you cross paths with people from around the world, and very often those virtual paths don’t go beyond the screens. But sometimes you make friends in real life, too. It’s one of those perks that make up for some of the online headaches and other nonsense. It’s all about the balance.
There are some incredible people making a difference in this world and making it happen online. Making a difference because the web makes it possible. Making a difference like my friend, Katherine Stone.
Katherine is the editor and founder of Postpartum Progress, an incredible site and non-profit organization. In this great, big blogosphere, Postpartum Progress stands out as the go-to source on postpartum depression and all mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth (which includes postpartum and antepartum depression and anxiety, postpartum PTSD, and post-adoption depression).
I’ve written about the long way film and television have to go in their portrayals of mental health, but online people are shattering the myths and burying stigmas one click at a time.
Today, October 5th, marks the second STRONG START DAY campaign by Postpartum Progress, a fundraiser that last year helped to expand the site so it could serve all who use it. And there are MANY – they had almost a million page views in 2011. Almost a million views for help and for hope.
What Katherine does epitomizes the social good to be found in social media, and it’s no surprise to me why she was honored by More magazine’s “Fierce List” this year, alongside such women as Joan Didion, Melissa McCarthy and Elizabeth Warren.
STRONG START DAY this year has plans for something big. Bigger than a million page views. Katherine and her team want to take their online community beyond the screens.
“I am asked all the time by nurses, doulas, physicians’ offices…if they can use the words we have created here to help mothers understand what they’re going through and that they can get better. They want our words because they believe we reach moms in a safe and accessible way. They want and need materials from us, materials that I have yet been able to give them because I haven’t had the funding to create them. Not every new mom is online. Plenty don’t have Twitter accounts. They aren’t on Pinterest. We need more ways to reach moms who need help.”
I’m not yet a mother, and I have no way of knowing whether postpartum mental health issues will be something I’ll experience, but I know exactly where to go for help if that is the case. What about the women who might not know whom to ask or how? We need to make the tools easy to find. We need to provide the information before it’s needed. I can’t think of a better place to start than in the offices of OB/GYNs and other women’s health providers. And I can’t think of a better person to provide that info than Katherine.
If you have the ability to contribute, please do so HERE.
If you’d like to know more about Postpartum Progress, or think it could be helpful for someone you know, you can find it on the web, Facebook and Twitter. And, hopefully, with a successful STRONG START DAY, you’ll soon find it in a doctor’s waiting room near you.