1. ITV Report

Mother of two speaks out about her experience of mental health

Lisa Brown realised she needed support for her mental health earlier this year Photo: ITV Border

A mother from Carlisle is speaking about her experiences of mental health, to encourage others to get the help they need.

Lisa Brown, who believes she has always suffered from depression, developed postnatal depression following the birth of her second child.

After reaching her lowest point, Lisa contacted First Step, an NHS service set up to provide psychological therapies to adults in Cumbria.

Before seeking help, Lisa said that after her son was born she would make herself ill with thoughts of her age as a new mother:

I thought I've wasted my entire life up until now. I've not made anything of myself and now I'm too old and my son is only going to be 10 and I'll be 50. I started counting how many days I had left until I was going to die."

– Lisa Brown
1 in 5
As many as 1 in 5 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or in the first year.

It is thought that around half of these cases of depression and anxiety go undetected, with many women failing to receive the right help.

Lisa has praised the support she received from First Step, which offers help with a range of mental health conditions.

The service says that symptoms of postnatal depression can range from emotions or feelings, physical or bodily signs, and negative thoughts.

These include feelings of guilt, experiencing a lack of energy, and having critical thoughts such as “I’m useless as a mother”.

Lisa says that before getting help, you have to realise you're not alone:

You've got to be kind to yourself. You've got to understand that there's so many people that are going through the same thing. We all feel the pressure. We all feel like we can't be honest and we can't say that we're not coping, but we can. You need to go out and you need to ask for help.

– Lisa Brown

Local support is available through the following services: