The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Parenting is often seen as a independent endeavor, yet this common perception often leaves parents feeling as though they can't, or shouldn't, reach out for help with their mental health when needed. In our Mental Health Mind Map podcast series, Calgary parents share their struggles with building a support system to help tackle parenthood.

Tiffany Austin, the creator of The Good Enuf Mommy blog and mom to a seven-year-old son, says her parenthood struggles began during pregnancy when she was put on bed rest, experienced a tough labour and then was hospitalized with postpartum psychosis a few weeks later.

Austin, like many of the mothers in a 2015 Pew Research Center report, found her support system online through social media.The Pew report indicates that 74 per cent of parents use social media to receive parental support from friends. However, 45 per cent of the mothers who use social media “strongly agree” that they receive this support online, in comparison to just 22 per cent of fathers who responded the same way.

Infographic 2Reaching out for help can be tough, especially when parenting has traditionally been seen as a solo endeavour. But, as data from the Pew Research Centre shows, parents are using social media to reach out to their family and friends to seek advice. Graphic by Stephanie Hagenaars.

A.J. Bergin, on the other hand, hasn't yet turned to social media for parenting help. 

He recently separated from his wife and is now navigating co-parenting his two-year-old daughter, Rune. Bergin is beginning to rebuild the support system that he sees as an integral part of parenting.

“It is so important to build your community around yourself because when you're at your low you need someone to help out,” Bergin says.

In partnership with Calgary Canadian Mental Health Association, we're publishing podcasts and news stories about mental health issues in our city. Track these stories using #CalgaryJournalHealth.

Podcast music courtesy of Spyro Vapes/SoundCloud.

Editor: Tatianna Ducklow | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.