Saturday, May 29, 2010

RubyShuze...You deserve the life you want!

I met Layne Schmidt nearly two months ago, now, and she's been a powerful ray of sunshine! I welcome her, warmly, as we all could use more rays these days ;) But, as I tell my daughter...the rain is helping Mother Earth get watered and clean. She's good with that. You know what else she's good with? Some simple tools on how to create a happy life for herself! Layne's site is a friendly must-read, as is her recent newsletter on the latest conversation she and I had about choices and a fabulous chain of events...enjoy!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Postpartum Depression DOES affect our Partners

Check out this recent link to learn how and why. Also, if you're interested in helping out present and/or future partners struggling, please consider contacting Esther Shoemaker at to find out what you can do to make a difference, now! Refer to our past entry here for more information. Thank you and may you understand you're not alone and there is treatment and supports surrounding you and your family!

p.s. The Saskatchewan Maternal Mental Health Strategy will be including that the partners also be screened during pregnancy and postpartum in the treatment program that will be submitted to the government, this August! Now, THAT'S comprehensive and will make a magnificent difference to our families!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What is your child's purpose?

I'm watching the "Oprah" show with Jada and Will Smith as her guests. They are FABULOUS!! The words they share with their children are peaceful, sensitive, humorous as ever, and powerful.

Oprah asked about their family meetings and what is discussed, Jada and Will said something along the lines is their purpose as a family to create a family business that will give back to themselves, their neighbourhood and then humanity as a whole. Once a family creates the space, creates the freedom for one another to learn their purpose, you will then nurture self-esteem which in turn creates an individual who makes healthier decisions for themselves and therefore contributes to the health of our world.

So the question is, 'What is your child's purpose? What is your purpose?" I firmly believe that once our children are given the peaceful space to be free to explore and create and are modeled consequences, peacefully and through a heart connection, are they then shown how to give back to themselves and the people around them. With this type of parenting will our children become agents of change, now! Check out sites such as and for more guidance.

I believe when we live our purpose we are passionate, satisfied, happier and that much more aware of our life choices. We are less likely to be anxious and depressed as we are listening to our bodies and emotions and knowing what feels good or not. If something does not feel good to our being, then we search for solutions that deal with the real cause of our discomfort and move forward. Move forward with people who will support our journey to wellness.

Here's to people like Jada, Will, Oprah, Pam Leo, the Board of Directors of ATLC and many more who show people the how to live powerfully, heartfully and consciously by using our voices and modeling peace and purpose for our children! Our future.....


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Looking for Dads out there who want to help others!

We are helping Dr. Letourneau and her assistant, Esther Shoemaker, by spreading their research news...


I'm writing to you as a research assistant for Dr. Letourneau's current research project on fathers and postpartum depression. We are researchers affiliated with Carleton University, University of Toronto, University of New Brunswick, University of Alberta, and University of Calgary. We are currently conducting telephone interviews with fathers of partners who have experienced postpartum depression within the last five years. We have received ethical approval from all of the institutions involved and the research is funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research.

We are wondering if you could help us to recruit participants for this study. Maybe you could put up posters in appropriate departments, and you could hand out brochures to individuals who might be eligible to participate. We are not asking you for active recruitment. However, it would be very helpful if you could pass on the information about our study so that fathers can decide on their own if they wish to participate. Of course, any participant will be reimbursed for the time of the interview.

Here is some additional information about the study, and I attached our poster, brochure and study protocol as a reference:

We are trying to understand fathers’ experiences when their partners have postpartum depression as well as fathers’ support needs, resources, barriers to accessing support, and support preferences. We want to find out how to help men whose partners are experiencing or have experienced symptoms of postpartum depression and how to promote fathers’ and mothers’ mental health. During the hour and a half telephone interview, participants will be asked to describe their experiences related to their partners’ postpartum depression. In addition, participants will be asked to complete a number of questionnaires related to demographic information, depression, marital quality, and social support.

The results of this study will enable program planners to develop and test an intervention for fathers which will enable them to better support their wives as they experience postpartum depression.

Please let me know if I can send you posters and brochures, and if you would like more information about the study.

Esther Shoemaker
PhD Student, Population Health
Institute of Population Health
University of Ottawa

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To all mothers and their families!

Happy Mother's Day!

The greatest thing she'd learned over the years is that there's no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.
- Unknown

Living these words is what made our healing journeys that much lighter and brighter. And, now, our team has moved into another milestone of our journeys! Three very important announcements:

1. The official announcement of the "Maternal Mental Health" working group was this past Monday, May 3rd, in Saskatoon! We are the only non-medical representatives on the 30+ person committee that has representatives from literally every corner of Saskatchewan. A heartfelt thank-you to Dr. Angela Bowen and her Assistant, Lindsey Bruce, and all the other esteemed members for the incredible work that is being organized and facilitated! Please check out the website for valuable resources and information ~ . Please share it with all the pregnant and new mothers you know, as well as their supports! Then there's your Family Doctor or OB.

2. We are giving back to our communities - we have cut or will be cutting $250 cheques to the:
  • NICU/Mother and Baby Unit in late March;
  • Canadian Mental Health Association last week during Mental Health Awareness Week;
  • Moose Jaw Transition House on May 13th, and then to the
  • YMCA Urban Challenge coming up June 19th.
We will have paid out $1,000! These donations would not be possible without the tremendous support we receive from our ambassadors both through purchases and sharing our message with your friends, families and co-workers.

3. Our team won the category of "Circle of Friends" at the YWCA Women of Distinction Gala on Thursday, May 6th!! The "Circle of Friends" is about honouring a group of two or more women whose collaboration has resulted in outstanding achievements and valuable contributions to their community or communities. We were thrilled to bits that we won! The acceptance speech began, "This is a victory for all Saskatchewan mothers!" We would also like to extend a heartfelt "Congratulations" to all the 2010 nominees and the work they are doing to improve the lives of our communities!

We look forward to what is on the horizon for mothers and their families! We believe change is occurring when it comes to maternal mental health and Postpartum Depression - this is a big topic for the G8 countries (more than 500,000 women globally succumb every year), CNN is soliciting stories, and the other provinces in Canada are watching Saskatchewan make policy changes. These truly are very exciting times!

With immense gratitude,
The Smiling Mask Team

Left to right ~ Carla, Tania and Elita