A woman who suffered from post-natal depression is holding a special pamper event for other mums to raise awareness of the condition.
Mum-of-two Vicky Sweeney is holding Pamper Your Mind to give mums in the area some precious time to themselves and the chance to find out what help is available to them.
A number of local businesses will offer free mini facials, massages, manicures and refreshments at the event at Rush2TheDen in Rushden on Sunday, October 21.
Miss Sweeney said she wanted to create a safe environment where mums can share their experiences after she suffered in silence for eight months.
She said that she had suffered with anxiety and panic attacks for more than 10 years and it came to a head after the birth of her second child.
It was only when she came across a blog by a mum dealing with anxiety that she started to admit something was wrong.
She said: “I didn’t even realise I was depressed at first.
“I already had a little girl so I just put how I was feeling down to tiredness.
“I had low energy and I would wake up and not feel myself.
“I couldn’t sleep and I was worrying about everything.
“The woman who had wrote the blog was saying she didn’t want to socialise with people but she’d tell herself she was okay.”
Reading the blog prompted Miss Sweeney to visit her GP, where she broke down in tears.
She said: “Once I off-loaded I started to feel better and I wondered why I had been so frightened to admit the truth for so long.”
Miss Sweeney, 28, was prescribed anti-depressants and although she has now overcome her illness, she said the experience made her realise that it is still a taboo subject and there should be more help available to women.
It led to her organising Pamper Your Mind, which will raise awareness of both pre and post-natal depression.
As well as pamper treatments, a group of mental health professionals will be on hand to offer information about spotting the signs and symptoms of pre and post-natal depression.
Miss Sweeney, who lives in Bamburgh Close, is hoping that her event could lead to a specialist support group being set up and she has been discussing her ideas with mental health charities.
She has also heard from the organisers of a new NHS service for Northamptonshire that aims to help mums with moderate to severe post-natal depression.
Miss Sweeney added: “I went along to baby groups but they’re not really the right environment to talk to other mums about how you’re feeling.
“Unless you go to see the doctor, you don’t get the chance to share your experience.
“I’ve already had messages about my event from other mums saying it’s something they really need right now.”
The free, ticket-only event runs from 2pm to 4pm at Rush2TheDen in Fitzwilliam Street.
Places are limited - tickets can be booked at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pamper-your-mind-tickets-48924382144?aff=eac2.