Local group gets set for fundraiser to support mothers with postpartum mood disorders

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Jun 21, 2018 at 5:32 PM

About three years ago, Kristina Dulaney noticed a lack of resources in Northeast Tennessee for mothers suffering from postpartum mood disorders, such as postpartum depression, psychosis and anxiety. 

“I experienced postpartum psychosis after I had my youngest child when she was 5 1/2 months old, and that landed me in a psychiatric unit for a few weeks,” Dulaney said. “I learned a lot about that process and what a mom needs, especially when she’s struggling, and I learned a lot about what the mental health system doesn’t offer.”

Because of this realization, Dulaney, who serves as co-chair of Postpartum Support International of Tennessee, decided it was time to get involved in helping other mothers suffering from postpartum mood disorders and helped establish the international organization's recently-formed state chapter. 

Dulaney and other PSI members will hold their Climb Out of the Darkness fundraising event on Saturday at 9 a.m. to honor the women and families who have fought and struggled with maternal mental health issues. The event, sponsored by Ballad Health, the Nursing Nook and Mommy Friendly Breastfeeding, will be held at Winged Deer Park’s Meredith Pavillion. 

Seventy-five percent of the money raised will go directly to PSI’s local charity, Appalachian Perinatal Mental Health Alliance, and 25 percent will go directly to PSI. Both will help provide training, workshops, educational materials and other free resources to providers, mothers and their families.

“These complications are the number one complication of childbirth, and suicide is one of the top causes of death in the postpartum period,” Dulaney said.

“It’s a national concern, a regional concern and a local concern, so the event is to bring moms together so they know they’re supported, cared for, loved and so they know there’s a group locally trying to help make changes here for them.”

For more information on the event or to donate, visit https://climb-out-2018.causevox.com/team/JohnsonCity.

More information can also be found at the Appalachian Perinatal Mental Health Alliance Facebook page

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