Social worker’s presentation will clarify postpartum wellness misconceptions
Connect Summit County will host free event
May 19, 2017
One aspect of the American dream is to raise a health family, but sometimes starting a family becomes a trial.
"One in seven women in the nation will suffer from postpartum depression," Sarah Caldwell said.
Caldwell should know, because she is a certified social worker who works with the Healing Group, a mental heath center based in Midvale that is comprised of specialized clinicians.
"We recently opened a satellite office in Park City last February," she said. "So it's been nice serving the community where I live."
Connect Summit County, a local nonprofit that raises awareness of mental health issues, recruited Caldwell to give a free presentation tiled "Postpartum Wellness: Be Prepared for Whatever Turn Your Postpartum May Take" at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 25, at the Park City Library, 1255 Park Ave.
"It's about raising awareness and creating a wellness plan for postpartum depression," Caldwell said. "We use the postpartum umbrella term, but there are actually six diagnoses that go into that."
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Those symptoms include prenatal and postpartum anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, psychosis and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
"The presentation will be about how to recognize the symptoms, what they feel like and how and when to get help," Caldwell said.
It will also help clear up some misconceptions regarding postpartum depression.
"The biggest one is that you have to be completely nonfunctional in order to get help," Caldwell said.
Another misconception is that only bad moms suffer from postpartum depression.
"That's not true," she said. "It can happen to anyone, even those with no prior history of mental health concerns.
"Many feel like having postpartum depression is their fault. So, I will be addressing the shame and guilt women feel from experiencing postpartum depression."
Caldwell will also address the stress the partners feel when their wives, girlfriends or mothers suffer from postpartum depression.
"If partners can get equipped with knowledge and tools, they can become so supportive in helping the woman feel better and recover faster," Caldwell said.
Thursday's presentation is scheduled for two hours.
"I will talk for about an hour and then I'll answer any questions as long as people have them," Caldwell said. "People can also ask questions throughout the presentation and I'll hang around afterwards for any additional questions."
Connect recruited Caldwell through a mental health providers' round table that is held in Park City.
"We've been talking about these Connect presentations and since I've done this particular one throughout the Salt Lake Valley, everyone thought it would be perfect for Connect," Caldwell said.
Caldwell — who specializes in treating adults experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, pregnancy and birth trauma, relationship distress, post-traumatic stress disorder and sex and intimacy concerns — has worked with private clients and with Peace House, a nonprofit dedicated to wiping out domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties.
Her experience in those fields helped her refine her presentation.
"The most common thing I hear from my clients is that they wished they had this information sooner because they would have gotten help sooner and wouldn't have felt bad for so long and wouldn't have put the blame on themselves," Caldwell said. "I think the maternal mental health during the pregnancy and postpartum time is like a reevaluation for women concerning their roles and identities. It's a good time for them to create new identities and what will work going forward, but a lot of times past issues will come up.
"Also, I think moms are underserved in terms of health and mental health, so to be able to offer that in a supportive environment is an honor. The reward is helping people heal in a dark time of their lives that they think should be blissful and joyful."
Connect Summit County will present : "Postpartum Wellness" with certified social worker Sarah Caldwell at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 25, at the Park City Library, 1255 Park Ave. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit http://www.connectsummitcounty.org.