Carla, Tania, and Elita at the Family Resource Programs Canada National Conference in Montreal, QC, April 27-29, 2011 and bringing home a "Family Legacy Award" for the outstanding work we have done for families regarding mental health! An enormous and heartfelt THANK YOU to our marvelous friends at FRP Canada!!
"The Smiling Mask" is an inspirational book and documentary created to increase awareness, acceptance and assistance for those suffering with postpartum illnesses. The goal is to shed light on the realities that many mothers and fathers and their families face when their lives are affected with postpartum disorders be it from giving birth, miscarrying or adopting. There is much misunderstanding and judgment of the people who do struggle, with as many as 1 out of four families. There is a critical need to raise awareness and support so that these families may flourish with joy and happiness, and ultimately reduce its affects on future generations
(e.g.: high rates of divorce, physical and emotional abuse, infanticide and/or
suicide, behavioural issues in children, absent fathers, etc.). This book and documentary will enlighten mothers and fathers by giving hope and inner peace. Our resources are helping to remove the stigma attached to this illness!
The book and documentary encompasses the lives of three families who have lived through the trauma of postpartum illnesses and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge in order to help others. As well, there is self-help information to enlighten parents of potential warning signs. Included is a What to do - What worked for them guides to assist those who are currently experiencing the symptoms and for their families and friends. Our vision and mission are as follows...
VISION To inspire healing, hope and harmony for families.
MISSION The purpose of the Smiling Mask is to create awareness, understanding, and acceptance of postpartum difficulties. Our stories are meant to bring peace and validation to mothers and fathers by engaging and empowering families, and communities in the life changing and natural experience of parenthood.
We believe passionately that a positive difference can be made. The outcome of exposing the truth will only generate belief in parenthood by accepting its conditions and working together with community to make a positive difference for generations to come. Being afraid to speak up for assistance and remaining "silent" is just one symptom of a larger problem in this world. We need to take the responsibility to heal and transform ourselves so we can heal this world, together. We feel the healing starts with the Mother.
We have also found that writing our stories has enhanced our wellness and want to encourage those who are suffering in the family to come forward and share their stories so they can move forward, as well. Know how much you're also giving back with your courage! Increased awareness and open communication is our hope to rise above these illnesses.