A group of final-year students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at National Technological University (NTU) embarked on a health communications campaign, Joyful Beginnings, to raise awareness on Postnatal Depression (PND), and the importance of partner support, to achieve mental well-being in young parents.
Support buffers against Postnatal Depression and aids in recovery of the mood disorder
Partner support was perceived by patients who suffer from Postnatal Depression (PND) to be among the top contributing factors in their recovery. According to Dr Theresa Lee, Senior Consultant from the Department of Psychological Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, “Coping with mood disorders on their own is very difficult. Having emotional comfort, physical involvement and understanding from the partner would help the mother tremendously. Even for mothers who are not depressed, support will help to buffer against the likely stresses in the postnatal period.”
To inspire mothers and fathers to engage in supportive behaviours to each other, a video titled ‘Let these young dads show you how they say “Thank You”’ was produced. The video featured young fathers who were at the SuperMom Baby Fair verbalising how they feel towards their wives with short messages of appreciation, as a form of emotional support during the postnatal period. To date, the video has garnered 18,000 views.
The video was produced in line with Joyful Beginnings’ aim to raise awareness about PND amongst young parents in Singapore, as well as the importance of support during the postnatal period, which will help buffer against the likelihood of falling into PND.
This video was shared in February, focusing on the theme of “Partner Support” in line with Valentine’s Day.
Garnering the support of the community
Since the start of the campaign in January, Joyful Beginnings focused on the theme of “Community Support” and launched the ‘My Biggest Challenge was…’ movement.
Community outreaches were conducted in different neighbourhoods in Singapore and young parents were asked to share about their biggest challenges they faced after giving birth and to leave words of encouragement for other mothers. Through the sharing of similar experiences and challenges, mothers will be able to seek comfort in knowing that they are not the only ones going through such difficulties and support one another in overcoming these challenges. Common challenges shared includes breastfeeding, the lack of sleep, and changes to lifestyle patterns.
Social media mummy influencers including Ms Azzah Fariha, a Mediacorp Suria Actress; Ms Charmaine Seah, Founder of Elementary Co.; and Ms Aarika Lee, Marketing Director of Elementary Co. and Lead Vocalist of homegrown hip-hop band SIXX, among many others, also participated in the movement.
In collaboration with National University Hospital and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the students also came up with a Postnatal Mental Wellness Booklet.