We have seen how Emily’s story has affected thousands. Our mission and hope for The Emily Effect foundation is that the story of her passing will create light, awareness, and changes in both the medical and mental health care systems that will continue to affect others who face postpartum and even other mental illnesses for many years to come and that we will be able to help the other Emily’s and their families out there.
We feel that the more real and open these stories are, the greater the potential they will have to create a connection between our readers and impact them in a positive way–in addition to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. Being “real” and “open” might look different for everyone, and that is okay – that’s what we want!
However, we feel that the following questions and guidance will help you as you consider how you want to share your story. Please be sure to include the “light” element so these letters can serve their full purpose, helping others be inspired by your story and light:
Simply Telling Your Story:
- When did you first experience PPD or similar mental health symptoms?
- How did it affect you and your family?
- When did you first realize it was a problem?
- How did you feel about yourself?
- Did you feel like you could share your feelings and what you were going through with others–with either loved ones and/or professionals?
- What steps did you take to get help?
- At what point did you realize that you needed help beyond family members and friends?
- Did you experience challenges in getting professional help and if so, what were they?
- If you didn’t (or aren’t) seeking help, why?
The “Light” Element: Lessons Learned:
- What have you learned from experiencing PPD or similar mental health challenges?
- What was a turning point for you and/or has helped you the most in working through these challenges?
- What would you say to someone who is experiencing the same or similar challenges?
- What is your message of “light?”
- If you’re not at a point in your recovery where you feel you’ve experienced a turning point or feel you have a message of “light” to share, what questions do you have for those who have?
- What have you learned thus far in your journey if you’re still on the road to recovery?
You don’t need to answer all of these questions, but we hope that considering them in addition to contemplating your own will be helpful as you determine what YOU need to share. There’s no right or wrong way to tell your story!
Also, please be aware that, due to the large number of stories we receive, it may be a while before we can review yours. It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to post all the stories we receive on our website, so please don’t take offense if yours does not get shared publicly. Also, your submission may be lightly edited for grammar and clarity. The response to The Emily Effect has been overwhelming (in a great way) and we appreciate your patience as we do our best to keep up with everything.