CHICAGO (CBS) – On Mother’s Day a new support line is available for young and expectant mothers. With an initial investment of $ 3 million, the Ministry of Health and Social Services has launched a Maternal Mental Health Hotlinewhich provides confidential advice to mothers experiencing mental health problems.
Sixteen years ago, Linda Schmulewitz and her husband became parents. While living in New York at the time, Schmulewitz was stunned by how difficult it was to be a mother.
“I remember walking down the street and seeing thousands of people passing by me and thinking to myself,‘ Nobody knows what it is. It is easier for everyone to live than for me. What was I thinking? ” she said.
Schmulewitz said her lifebuoy came in the form of her neighbor, another new mom who told her about a group of new moms in local Y.
“I remember hearing that they also slept in the middle of the night, that they also felt lonely and isolated, and there was so much relief from that experience,” she said.
It was important information she knew she needed to share and a critical community she knew she needed to create, so after the birth of a son and moving to Chicago she launched The Chicago New Moms Group in 2011.
“We are not destined to live in our individual forces, as I think, so there is so much isolation, and as a result no one gets the support they need,” she said.
Chicago New Moms Group is a connection of young mothers to each other and the services they may need during this transition. But Shmulevits said she had something to say about talking to someone you didn’t know – it’s a new hotline, she said she could probably take advantage of it herself.
“I have never been officially diagnosed with postpartum depression, but I think that if I had known more, if I had known what I know today, I would probably have sought more support,” she said.
Today, Schmulewitz says there is a lot of help, but you need to know where to find it – and be prepared to accept it.
“It’s unfortunate that you need help, but also not realizing that we’re not meant to do this job alone,” she said.
Chicago New Moms Group offers six-week programs for first moms and four-week programs for second moms.