Maternal Care Action Group

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Having experienced postnatal depression after the birth of my second child, I am personally aware of the huge gaps in emotional and mental health care for NZ mums. In 2017 I partnered with Maternal Care Action Group (MCAG) to create a media event that would raise awareness of this issue and influence positive change. On 1 September - the first day of spring - a group of mums, influencers and politicians came together to plant 8000 flowers in a community garden. The number of flowers planted were representative of the number of mums that fall through the cracks of the mental health system in NZ, every year. We wanted our policy makers to understand that mums need to be nurtured and empowered to grow, just as these flowers do. Having previously been supported by MCAG through my postnatal depression, I willingly provided my PR skills to this project pro bono as a way of giving back. I was responsible for every aspect of this event - from coming up with the concept, through to the event planning, press release, media outreach, management and execution. It was attended by influencers Nadia Lim and Jude Dobson, and appeared on Seven Sharp as well as Stuff and other media outlets. It also provided an opportunity for MCAG to get more involved in relevant parliamentary select committee meetings and meetings with MPs, which is ultimately where future change will occur.
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Melanie Watson

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