The Story Behind the Project
One of the things I remember most poignantly from my time suffering with my mental health is the feeling of darkness. It was something I felt shrouded in. Over taken by. It coloured my every day.
As we all know Mental health illnesses do not discriminate. Therefore, the people suffering are incredibly diverse. However, the one thing that binds us all is the acute memory of the darkness we have been forced to visit because of it.
After meeting lots of fellow mums, who I shared this solidarity of darkness with, I started to question where this darkness goes once we have managed to come through it? And what should we do with this scar of a memory once we have healed?
I feel we need to use this darkness and the memory of it to shed a little light.
My way of doing this has been through writing letters to mums currently suffering with their maternal mental health across the UK. Letters to women I’ve never met, but who I know I share so much with. Letters explaining that I understand the darkness they are trying to overcome and hopefully shining a little bit of light by telling them they are not alone and that with the right support, they will (like me) be able to come through to the other side.
I would now like to join with other mums with lived experience to see if we can shed as much light as possible for mums currently suffering with their maternal mental health across the UK.
The Letters of Light Project Objectives
There are over 600,000 births a year and with 1 in five women being diagnosed with a maternal mental health illness there are currently thousands of mums across the UK struggling in the dark.
I would like to be able to reach out and ensure all of these wonderful mums walking through the darkness have a hand to hold whilst doing so. That each mum has the words of a fellow mum – A mum that despite not knowing her, knows what she is going through.
What is a Letter of Light?
A Letter of Light is a letter of support written by a mum with lived experience to a mum currently suffering with her mental health. It is a compassionate letter the mum can open and read when she feels ready and in need of a little light. It is a letter she can share with loved ones if it helps start a conversation about how she is feeling. And a letter to keep at hand to be able to read when the darkness becomes too much and she just needs someone to turn the light on.
As women with lived experience of maternal mental health, we know that there is nothing so powerful as words from someone who has walked in our shoes. Someone who has been where we are and lived through it.
Words of encouragement from a fellow mum who has shared a similar path makes us feel less alone, less isolated and in return, hopeful that we too will be in their shoes one day. Thus being, well and feeling empowered that we deserve the right to enjoy motherhood..
This is the sentiment behind The Letters of Light project. To connect mums who have recovered from their maternal mental health illness with mums currently suffering. To help shed some light in the darkness thousands of mums are currently trying to navigate their way through.
How to Get Involved – Become an “Author of Light”
I am appealing for fellow mums with experience of a maternal mental health illness to put pen to paper and help me offer a hand through the darkness with their own letter of light. All letters will be sent to The Every Mum Movement, collected and reviewed and then issued to mums suffering with a maternal mental health illness across the UK. We will be working with a number of organisations supporting mums across the UK to ensure as many mums as possible receive their very own Letter of Light”
The next stage of the campaign is to make it global, therefore, I am also appealing for mums and organisations across the globe to get in touch and be part of shedding some light for mums across the world.
If you’d like to be the light in a fellow mums darkness please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org putting “Letter of Light” in the subject to receive your info pack.
Let your light shine bright!
Love Liv xx