We provide education, assistance, coping techniques, and support for women struggling with mental health issues. Through a partnership with SHOPPERS LOVE .YOU. we now offer a Women’s Wellness Group, Women’s Speakers Series, and our Postpartum Peer Support Group.
Women's Program Manager
Hello! My name is Pam Habing and I am the Women’s Program Manager here at MDAM. I have a wonderful partner, a super positive outlook on life, and am a self-taught abstract artist. You can check out my art at pamelahabing.com. I love nature and foraging wild edibles in my spare time, along with various forms of art and expression like graphic design and creating various beautiful projects. I love working with people, facilitating groups and planning projects.
Having extensive lived experience with mental health I am a firm believer in the power of peer support and highly value paying it forward. I have dedicated my life to helping others and feel very fortunate to be able to impact so many people in this role.
The Women’s Speakers Series is a monthly online series via Facebook Live, airing the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7PM. The Speakers Series was created to give those who identify as women in our community a platform to speak about their stories in the open, and to feel empowered in doing so.
Featuring a different speaker each month, the series kicked off on September 23, 2021 and ends on April 21, 2022. The series is based on our peer support model – we empower those who suffer from mental illness to share their lived experiences and recovery stories of hope in a safe and supportive environment.
Our next speaker will be Alison Ritchie sharing her story, "A Healthy Baby Isn't The Only Thing That Matters. Safeguarding Yourself From Postpartum Depression" on Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 7:00 pm. Please join us on Facebook Live.
A Healthy Baby Isn't The Only Thing That Matters. Safeguarding Yourself From Postpartum Depression
December 16, 2021
Alison's presentation on postpartum depression seeks to shine light on how it is imperative for women to set themselves up for a smooth transition into motherhood while still in pregnancy. She will talk about holistic ways to prepare and nourish yourself as a key to building a bridge into the 4th trimester. She will also be sharing her own journey of how a traumatic birth experience in the medical world set the stage for postpartum depression and the way she navigated through both of her postpartum experiences.
Alison is a mother of 2, a Herbalist, a Traditional Postpartum Wellness Practitioner, a Holistic Birth Keeper, and a Women's Health and Wellness advocate. Her own personal experiences with postpartum depression, depletion, and burnout has been the fuel and motivation for her to dive deep and learn all she possibly can around the short but very potent and vulnerable sacred postpartum season. Alison has spent the past 13 years attending births and serving women in the postpartum time and brings with her not only her own lived experiences, but hundreds of experiences of the women she has walked with throughout the childbearing year. She is passionate about growing her own food and gardening, homesteading, nutrition and spending quality time with her family and friends.
SAVE THE DATES
Please save the dates below and watch our social media and website for more info each month!
October 21, 2021: Marian Goldstone – “Strength Broken by Strength, and Still Strong”
November 18, 2021: Susan Spiropoulos - "Making My Own Sunshine"
December 16, 2021: Ali Ritchie - "A healthy baby isn't the only thing that matters. Safeguarding yourself from Postpartum Depression"
January 20, 2022: Debra Jonasson-Young
February 17, 2022: Dorota Blumczynska
March 17, 2022: Marion Cooper
April 21, 2022: Rita Chahal
Baby Blues & Better Days
What is Baby Blues & Better Days?
The Baby Blues and Better Days course is offered by Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba and is sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart. It is a free 6-week course for new mothers and their partners that addresses issues and concerns that can come with the birth of a baby, with special emphases on post-partum depression. Attendees learn skills and coping strategies from facilitators who have lived experience with post-partum depression. A support group (in person or online) is offered after the course to provide ongoing help to parents.
A summary of the course is as follows:
- Week 1: The Spectrum of Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders (Baby Blues vs. Post-Partum Depression vs Post-Partum Psychosis, including risk factors, symptoms, and treatments)
- Week 2: The Edin Scale, Getting Help, Relationships & Communication
- Week 3: Myths & Expectations of Moms, Social Supports, and Resources Available
- Week 4: Partners and Parents
- Week 5: Finances, Wellness and Self-Care
- Week 6: Common Symptoms & Physical Health
Currently, we are offering this course four times per year virtually. The size of the group is kept small (maximum 10 registrants) to facilitate good conversations. Moms, partners, and babies are all welcome to attend virtually.
To register, please fill out our short intake form – https://form.jotform.com/213214392316246
If you have questions or comments, please contact Pamela Habing, Women’s Program Manager at 204- 560-1463 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postpartum Peer Support Group
Women's Wellness Group
Our Women's Wellness Group allows for individuals who identify as women in our community to come together in a positive, safe, and supportive environment. We offer a safe haven to empower positivity, support growth, and enhance learning. Women will share their experiences, embrace a positive mindset and expand their knowledge of mental health through topics such as:
- Paint night
- Walk and talks
- Book night
Our fall Women's Wellness Group just wrapped up and was held at the Earl Grey Community Centre.
Our next Women's Wellness Group is scheduled to begin in January 2022 in Winnipeg at Temple 23. If you would like to add your name to our waiting list, please email Pam at email@example.com right away as the list is lengthy! Maximum of 10 participants per session.
Stay tuned for future Woman’s Wellness groups, we hope to offer four sessions throughout the year. Monitor this page and our social media for dates, times, and locations.
Our Women’s Wellness Facilitators
My name is Maria Valencia. I have volunteered with MDAM for 2 years. I facilitated the Anxiety depression group for one year and also volunteered with peer support online.
I am an animal lover, enjoy the outdoors, cycling and running. I'm a proud entrepreneur, my partner and I started the online e-commerce business Caroquilla.com. I have designed the world's most comfortable and sustainable bamboo underwear. I also recently got engaged to the most wonderful life partner.
I live with mental illness and strongly believe in with the right support, nutrition and exercise we can cope and achieve a life healing balance. Volunteering for me is a way of giving back to our community, it helps build connections, and it is where we can learn from one another.
My name is Jacqueline Jackson-Clark. I have been volunteering with MDAM for 2 years.
I facilitated the Bipolar group for 1 year and also volunteered with the peer support line.
I’m a mother of 3 wonderful daughters, and, I have a loving and supportive life partner. I am also a teacher and have proudly been an early year’s educator for 22 years.
I have a lot of experience with mental illness and believe strongly that with a positive body, mind, and, soul we can achieve balance and healing. I enjoy giving back to the community, because, I believe we draw strength from our connections, and we grow from our shared experiences.
Disordered Eating Program
Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba is pleased to announce our latest pilot project, our Disordered Eating and Body Image Workshop, and Peer-Support Group.
There is such value in sharing our stories and learning to re-write the narratives that often keep us locked in shame and self-deprecation. Disordered eating, obsessive dieting, low self-esteem, diagnosable eating disorders, and other co-morbid issues are part of a mental health space that currently does not have provincial supports in place to sustain the growing demands of the community. MDAM’s goal is to continue to expand our peer-support-based programming, to provide further assistance for people in this space.
This workshop runs weekly for six sessions. The intention of having a longer spanning workshop is to provide education and skill-building while also creating a community around empowerment.
If you are interested in signing up for our next program (date TBD in the fall), please email Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Downloadable Support Materials:
- Nutrition Resources (downloadable PDF)
- Colouring Pages for Self-Empowerment (downloadable PDF)
- Self-Empowered Background Images for your Phone
- My Morning Checklist (downloadable PDF)
Disordered Eating & Body Image Workshop Facilitator
My name is Andrea Smith (Wessels), and I am brand new to MDAM! I am facilitating the Disordered Eating and Body Image Workshop, and am currently assisting with the women’s programming. At home I have one rambunctious toddler and a sweet baby, and my partner and I run an online fitness training and life coaching program together called Ambitiononline.fitness. We recently moved back to Winnipeg after 6 years in South Africa and are really happy to be here!
Thinking of fun and innovative ways to nourish and move the body, and focusing on helping others with their mental health are my passions. I have worked with people who identify as women for 13 years and am really looking forward to working with so many people in this field. I am currently finishing my studies in Psychology at the U of M and will be going into counselling. I strongly believe in holistic health and all-encompassing support, community and peer support. I can’t wait to make amazing connections and work with such awesome people.