Climb Out of the Darkness, the world’s largest event raising awareness of pregnancy and postpartum mental health disorders, will hold a regional Climb in Chattanooga on Oct. 7, hosted by Birch + Magnolia, a local company specializing in providing birth and postpartum doula services to families in the Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Northwest Georgia areas.
Friends, families, and survivors of postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, and psychosis from all over the world climb, hike, or walk together at a local mountain or park to symbolize their collective rise out of the darkness as well as to raise funds for Postpartum Support International, a nonprofit organization and online community of support resources for women around the world.
"This is the fifth annual Climb Out of the Darkness, typically held around the longest day of the year to shine the most possible light on maternal mental illness. Due to the heat of our summers, a fall date was chosen in hopes of much more pleasant weather," officials said.
All moms, dads, families, and friends are invited to participate in their local Climb Out of the Darkness to be held in downtown Chattanooga Oct. 7. The team will gather at Rev Centre for Optimal Living, 417 Frazier Ave, Ste. 101, for registration and kick off at 9 a.m. The walk will begin at 10 a.m. as team members make their way thru North Shore and across the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, with an after-party gathering to follow.
Participants must register prior to the event at www.crowdrise.com/Tennessee---Chattanooga. Sponsorships from local businesses are also being accepted. Contact local Climb leader and Birch + Magnolia owner, Heather McGlothlen at 423-521-5039 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on sponsorships that will help support the Climb.
“It is an exciting time for Climb out of the Darkness and a growing awareness worldwide of the mental health needs of new and expecting parents,” said Wendy N. Davis, executive director of Postpartum Support International. “We are honored to host the Climb, an innovative creation of Postpartum Progress, which started the Climb in 2013. This year, we’ve organized the fundraising so that local groups can raise money for their own initiatives, or raise funds for the international organization. Working together, we are improving the safety net for families around the world.”
Money raised by the Climb will support PSI goals to provide funds to local groups and organizations, provide low-cost training in perinatal mood disorders for providers in underserved areas, train law enforcement and legal experts, mentor peer supporters and group leaders, and train primary healthcare providers.