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Wellness

Walking for a Cause: Understanding Flora's Walk and Its Impact on Maternal Mental Health

Rooted Family Team
 | 
May 29, 2024

Flora's Walk is more than just a stroll in the park; it's a movement dedicated to raising awareness about maternal mental health and supporting families through their perinatal journey. Named after Flora Babakhani, a mother who tragically lost her life to untreated postpartum psychosis, Flora's Walk aims to shed light on the challenges faced by new parents and advocate for better mental health support. In this blog, we'll delve into the significance of Flora's Walk, its origins, and how you can get involved in this important cause.

The Story Behind Flora's Walk:

Flora's Walk was inspired by the heartbreaking story of Flora Babakhani, a Toronto mother who lost her life to postpartum psychosis in 2022. Flora's experience highlighted the urgent need for improved mental health care for new parents, especially during the vulnerable postpartum period. In response to this tragedy, Flora's family and community came together to organise a series of walks across Canada to raise awareness and funds for maternal mental health initiatives.

The Impact of Maternal Mental Health:

Maternal mental health issues, including postpartum depression, anxiety, and psychosis, affect millions of women worldwide. These conditions can have profound effects on both the mother and her family, impacting bonding with the baby, breastfeeding, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, stigma and lack of awareness often prevent women from seeking help, leading to untreated mental health issues that can have long-term consequences.

How Flora's Walk Makes a Difference:

Each May, there are several Flora's Walks organized across Canada to help destigmatize maternal mental health issues and promote access to support and resources for new parents. By organising community walks and fundraising events, Flora's Walk raises awareness about the importance of maternal mental health and funds initiatives aimed at supporting families through the perinatal period. The funds raised through Flora's Walk support organisations like the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative, which advocates for improved mental health care for Canadian families. This year, 75% of the funds will directly support our centre's essential services, providing invaluable support to families navigating the challenges of the postpartum period. The remaining 25% will be dedicated to advocacy efforts aimed at raising awareness about postpartum perinatal issues in Canada.

How You Can Get Involved:

  • You can make a difference by participating in Flora's Walk.
  • You can donate directly to the cause and join our team.
  • You can join and support one or more of our ongoing fundraisers.
  • Help spread awareness by sharing and inviting your friends and family to join and participate.
  • A Silent Auction will be running Monday May 13th - to Tuesday May 21st at the Centre! Stop by to bid on some wonderful prizes!

Every contribution, no matter how small, helps make a difference in the lives of new parents and their families.

The Kanata Walk:

The walk will be held at Walter Baker Park on Saturday, May 25th, from 10am - 12pm. Click here for more information or to confirm your participation. You can also share this link with friends and family so they can join in as well!

Agenda:

10:00am - Land Acknowledgment and Opening Remarks

Jenny Sâwanohk, Misiwe Ni Relations Healing Lodge

Christine Crook and Erin Kasungu Rooted Family Wellness Centre

10:15 - Opening Remarks

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development of Canada and MP for Kanata Carleton, the Hon. Jenna Sudds

10:20 Lived Experiences Can Inform Better Mental Health Care 

Misty Pratt, Storyteller and Local Author 

10:25 - Thank yous!

10:30am Pre-walk Warmup

Dr. Sarah Bernhardt, Rooted Family Wellness Centre

10:35am Walk

 

11am Refreshments and 50/50 draw

Coffee, tea and snacks will be available for sponsors and walkers

11:45 - Closing Remarks

Christine Crook and Erin Kasungu Rooted Family Wellness Centre and Sponsors

Thank you:

We would like to recognize and thank all the following businesses and organizations for supporting our fundraising efforts and are making the walk possible:

Your generous donations and fundraising efforts have been instrumental in funding our walk and raising awareness about maternal mental health.

Conclusion:

Flora's Walk is more than just a fundraising event; it's a movement dedicated to supporting families through the perinatal period and raising awareness about the importance of maternal mental health. By participating in Flora's Walk or supporting the cause in other ways, you can help make a difference in the lives of new parents and ensure that every family has access to the support and resources they need to thrive. Together, we can break the stigma surrounding maternal mental health and create a world where every parent receives the care and support they deserve.

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