Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Wellbeing Day on 14th August - give yourself some 'me time'!

Are you in or around Warrington, Cheshire on Saturday 14th August?

if so you may be interested in attending a WellBeing Day  - wellbeing is our natural state of being. When we don’t allow wellbeing we become ill, so take time to treat yourself and allow yourself to be well.


Friends Meeting House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington WA1 2NR
(corner of Buttermarket St/Academy Way)


10am – 5pm. Refreshments.  Admission £1


Relax, de-stress, heal and enjoy. 30 minute treatments for £10 with experienced therapists. Choose from treatments including:

  • Facelift Massage 
  • Ear candles (£15)
  • Reflexology 
  • Indian Head Massage
  • Aromatherapy Massage 
  • Sports Massage
  • Shiatsu 
  • Non-surgical facelift
  • Reiki 
  • Readings
Lots to buy: Natural skincare, crystals, angel bears, Aloe products and much more.

To book an appointment in advance or for more information please contact Angelita on 07808 160315 or email

Sadly I can't make it but I have an exciting day meeting Diana Lynn Barnes from USA  (who wrote the foreward for my book). We have been in contact for many years and never met, but she is passing through the UK then.   At last!

Elaine Hanzak

Friday, 9 July 2010

What Mums want!

Well done to Netmums for their latest survey 'What Mums want'. 

As the new coalition Government makes its plans for Public Services, Netmums took a good look at what works and what doesn't, and found out about the needs of families from across the country.
cphva logo
In early June 2010, 1,860 Netmums members completed this detailed survey which was produced in partnership with 4Children and Unite/CPHVA (Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association). The key messages are...

New health visitors

Netmums says: The 4,200 new Health Visitors promised by the Government are very much needed.

62% of mums say they either don't have a Health Visitor, or for those that do, they feel they wouldn't be happy to call them.

More cost effective

Netmums says: More health visitors should lead to fewer mums going to visit their (more expensive) GPs

Almost half of mums would go to their GP as a first port of call when they have a child-related problem such as breast-feeding, weaning, child development worry or minor child health problem.

The mums that do talk to a qualified Health Visitor are more likely to feel they have been helped than those who see either a GP or someone else from a health visiting team.

Many mums struggle

Netmums says: Parents needs are great with 82% of mums having  experienced child related problems in the past year and 57% of mums struggling with potentially more serious personal problems

4 out of 10 mums suffered with postnatal depression and a quarter struggled with relationship problems in the past year

Those who are on low incomes are also more likely to suffer - over half of mums on family incomes of under £20,000 a year with a child under the age of 5

But it's not only those on low incomes. A third of mums with a family income of £60,000 - £70,000 are also suffering with PND or anxiety.

Mums often have multiple problems

Netmums says: It takes a skilled worker and a suitable environment to be able to talk through mental health, relationship problems, child behaviour and health issues.

Many of the mental health problems are either caused by or contribute to a whole range of other problems. Having PND means you are 70% more likely to also have relationship problems with your partner, 7 times more likely to struggle to bond with your child, 3 times more likely to have a difficult relationship with a child.

Those who had worries about a child's development, or about their behaviour are also more likely to suffer with anxiety or Postnatal Depression, in fact of all the mums who had a child under the age of 5 and were concerns about child behaviour, 57% had PND or anxiety. 

Children's Centres a place to go

Netmums says: Parents are using Children's Centres as a place to go and while there, also picking up advice and information on a range of issues.

Of the parents living in England with a child under the age of one, 60% said they used their Children's Centre a lot or sometimes, and a further 13% very occasionally.

Netmums Solutions: filling the gaps

It was great to see that mums are using Netmums to build their social networks through the Meet-a-Mum boards and Meetup Groups. In fact, more had met their closest friends through Netmums than through their baby-clinic It's well known that a network of local friends can provide a lot of support to new mums.
The survey showed that our online Health Visitor Drop-in Clinic would be used by 80% of those who knew about it (60% of those surveyed), and was thought particularly helpful as a first port of call by those who didn't have a local health visitor, and for those on low incomes.

Read more:
Netmums - the local parenting network

The figures around PND are VERY scary.

I will continue my campaign as much as I can and especially am keen to continue with my training with Ann Girling for Children's centres.
Elaine Hanzak

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Are we cutting our noses off to spite our faces? Funding issues for postnatal and mental illness.

Last week my colleague Ann Girling and I delivered another successful day to staff at Children's centres - this time around Croydon, Surrey.

Read her account here

The staff there acknowledged the importance and effects of postnatal illness in their centres yet in other areas of the country we are being told 'it isn't a priority'.

I appreciate that there are other areas but postnatal illness not only affects the mother, but the baby, partner, other relationships, siblings, employment and society are all influenced by poor maternal health - the costs both personal and financial can be huge and there is a wealth of research to back this up. Tomorrow I am meeting a new father whose wife took her own life due to postnatal illness - try telling him that it isn't a priority!

In Leeds the support group I instigated is up and running at no extra financial cost to anyone - I just wish others could see how practical and emotional support can make a massive difference. To a mother who can be crippled by this illness, contact and support can offer real lifelines back to restored mental health and far more cost effective than years of medication and GP visits. Every time I have the pleasure of cuddling my baby niece Sophie and god-daughter Ruby I appreciate how much the illness robbed me and my family of. That is one of the many reasons I strive to make new parenthood easier and healthier for others.

In another instance I was booked to speak to mental health teams, to give them techniques for improving the care of the people within their influence and also for themselves. Sadly it has been cancelled as the priority is for legal training! It makes me sad to see how 'cuts' or the threat of them is making people panic into protection mode for areas which in the long run may prove very short-sighted. I fear that as a result many new families and those affected by poor mental health (25% of the population!) will suffer needlessly as the people who are supposed to be in place to improve their quality of life are being pushed into self-preservation mode for the sake of bureaucracy. Surely the essence of care should be that - CARE!

I am concerned that we are becoming a nation fearful of law suits and a blame culture and one which threatens the very core of helping others. Will the powers that be listen more when they become part of the growing numbers of 'mentally ill' brought on by the pressures if the job? I wonder then who they will want to help them - those who can fill in forms or know how to help them recover?

I appreciate that this may sound like I am spitting my dummy out over a cancelled speaking opportunity. No matter, as I will keep striving to spread my messages! I felt very sorry for the lady who had so wanted me to deliver the training as she appreciated the value of 'care'. My faith and hope remains and I will continue - as Anita Roddick once said 'if you think small can't make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito'!

I am off to buzz!

Elaine Hanzak