Steph shares her perinatal journey

World’s End farmer, mum of three and clinical psychologist, Stephanie Schmidt will share an honest account of her own experiences with perinatal mental health, when she joins a live online talk on September 8.

Anyone is welcome to join the free webinar, where Stephanie will chat with Tasmanian grazier Stephanie Trethewey for an online talk series, Walk with Me, hosted by Australian ag tech company MaiaGrazing.

CEO Peter Richardson said recent studies had shown that up to one in six women experience perinatal depression.

“The combination of the impact of COVID-19 and increased isolation in rural communities would suggest that this statistic is higher among the farming community,” he said.

Stephanie Schmidt, winner of the 2020 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her program designed to create resilience among the farming community, said she hoped that by opening up and sharing her own experiences that she could help other rural families.

“From my own experience, having had postnatal depression twice, I think it is impacted by the extra pressures and challenges we have on-farm,” she said.

“When I was given the opportunity to take part in this series, I thought it was a chance to share some of those pressures.

“As founder of the Motherland Australia podcast where I’ve spoken to her before, Steph (Trethewey) is pretty good at getting the real and raw seriousness from her guests, so I think it will be a very honest conversation between the two of us about our personal experiences.

“I hope participants can walk away with some tools, even if it’s not specifically for perinatal health, but just tools in general for managing their own wellbeing and stress on-farm.

“And it’s really important to recognise that perinatal mental health is not just a female-only experience, the challenges that occur after having a baby often do occur for men too so it’s really important for men and women to take part in this conversation.”

Stephanie Trethewey, co-founder of Tasmanian Agricultural Company, launched the Motherland Australia podcast in December 2019 after struggling with her own mental health and feeling isolated as a new rural mum.

“Mums are the backbone of our rural communities and are often the glue that holds everything together,” she said.

“Unfortunately, many rural women face crippling isolation and struggle with their own mental health due to their location, or a lack of local services and support.

It’s my hope that by breaking the stigma surrounding motherhood and mental health on the land, we can start to uncover what is really required to create meaningful change for rural mums across Australia and give them the support they desperately need.”

MaiaGrazing will donate $2 for every registrant to Walk with Me to Gidget Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation providing perinatal mental health programs.

The Walk With Me live, online chat will take place on September 8 at 7.30pm for 45 minutes. To register, visit www.maiagrazing.com/walk-with-me-mothers-shoulders/

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