Two Donegal Mammies and columnists at have put their heads together to create a programme aimed at promoting the mental well-being of local mums.

Minding Mammy will be a 5 week programme aimed at helping Donegal mums cope with the mental health pressures that arise in the transition to motherhood.

It all began when Maria Rushe, who blogs as The S-Mum, recently published an honest account of her own struggles with mental health. The reaction to her post was overwhelming for the mum of two.

Local counsellor and Mental Wellness blogger Sarah Barr of New Beginnings Counselling read the article and recognised the thoughts of many of her clients.

Sarah reveals how the article inspired her: “Maria’s article inspired me to act on an idea that has been brewing in my mind for a while to set up a workshop designed for mums.

“Motherhood is a journey and sometimes through the transition we can lose ourselves. We may become anxious, depressed and compare ourselves to other mums. We hide behind a mask, too scared to talk about our mental health in case we are judged or deemed unfit. However it is okay if you feel like this, you can feel better.

“Sometimes we need to understand why we are feeling this way and what we can do to feel better. Also talking to other mums and realising that they are feeling and thinking the same way will help. It will help in ‘normalising’ mental health and reduce the stigma ” said Sarah.

Minding Mammy will be a 5 week programme aimed at helping Mums arm themselves with the tools needed to deal with daily anxiety and negative thoughts. The programme will be hosted by The S-Mum, and facilitated by New Beginnings Counselling.

The S-Mum Maria Rushe

Maria said: “I am not a counsellor. I am a Mum who writes about my own experiences. I will never give people advice or information on something I am not qualified in.

“Sarah is the professional here. She will deliver the course. All the workshops will have sections of my blog featured as conversation springboards, but the content and teaching of the CBT skills and all advice will be from Sarah. I am simply hosting. She is facilitating.

“I am just delighted to be able to help to organise something that might be of help to mums,” Maria said.

The programme is being designed to allow Mums to learn CBT techniques, discuss relevant issues, listen to the experiences of others and develop their own collection of coping tools for their own lives.

It will focus on anxiety, social pressures, thought behaviour and social media influences among other things.

Each session will be 90 minutes long and the two mums hope that at the end of the 5 week programme, participants who sign up will feel better equipped to deal with the stresses of being a parent.

“The article highlighted the fact that ALL parents, regardless of how “together” they seem, face their own struggles each day. We hope that the mums who join us on the programme will benefit from meeting other mums in a confidential and fun environment, while receiving quality support from a qualified professional.”

Sarah and Maria hope to run the 5 week programme on Friday mornings in Letterkenny, starting mid July. Venue, price and full details will be announced once confirmed. Spaces will be limited. For further information, contact Sarah Barr on her Facebook page. (click here)

Visit Maria and Sarah’s columnist profiles for here:

Mum – Maria Rushe

Balance – Sarah Barr