The Climb Out of the Darkness walk will take place on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Mill Creek Park. Climb Out of the Darkness is the world’s largest event raising awareness of perinatal mental illness.
A first-time event for Statesboro, funds raised will go directly to help moms and dads find support, to train practitioners treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and to expand the disorder’s self-educational avenues for families.
Kim Harris, Team Statesboro Climb Leader, said, “Given that one in seven women and one in 10 men suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder during or after pregnancy, raising awareness of perinatal mental health complications holds enormous implications for our community.”
Harris, who recently began working as a doula – a professional trained to assist women during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born – said that the position opened her eyes to the plight of those suffering with perinatal mental illness.
“Too many mothers suffer in silence, maybe knowing something isn’t right, maybe not. Their experiences are real, but they are also temporary and treatable with professional help.”
The Georgia Chapter of Postpartum Support International hosted two Climb events last year and will host 13 Climbs across the state throughout the month.
“We wanted to have a walk here because we want local moms and families to know that their experiences matter,” Harris said. “To know that they are not alone and that they are not to blame. Perinatal mental health is important to talk about and to address, and this Climb is a way to do that.”
The community is invited and encouraged to participate in the fundraising walk. For more information, call Harris at (334) 744-1730 or visit www.psiga.org.