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Tracey Tyley - Raising awareness, one km at a time.

Running was a huge part of Tracey's recovery from postpartum depression and anxiety and is now a huge part of how she maintains her mental health. But the statistics that 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers will experience Postnatal Depression and Anxiety is why she is now running to raise money for the Gidget Foundation Australia, so together, we can help raise awareness and get mental health support to those mothers and fathers in need.

"I experienced a different mix of postpartum mental health challenges after the births of all three of my children, the worst being after my third. However at the time I wasn’t able to recognise the signs and symptoms and I didn’t reach out for help until my son (third child) was six months old. These days I am no longer in the depths of postpartum mental health, however some of the anxiety and intrusive thoughts remain. BUT because of the Gidget Foundation Australia, I now have the tools and the knowledge to handle this so that it no longer causes distress, and importantly the knowledge on how to maintain a healthy mental state. I have found this especially useful for when life brings its natural up and downs, in addition to the life stresses that being a parent  brings (and perhaps even just an adult these days), I now know how to recognise the signs that I need to 'top up' my 'me' time, or add in some extra activities that help balance and look after my mental health.

Gidget Foundation Australia was the safe place and the key resource for me during my personal struggles with postpartum mental health, and I want it to be the safe place for many other expectant and new parents.

It's for these reasons that I decided just one event to raise awareness for postpartum mental health wasn't quite enough - my mental health journey is ongoing, and so shall my running events!

Having completed a 5km, 10km, a 13.4km, a 17.2km over two courses, I will now compete in the 7.5km GC30 Running Festival, followed by a 5km race at the Noosa Runaway Event in May. Each run brings along their unique challenges and joys. Sometimes the races seemed like they would never end, and all I could think was, 'gosh this is just like Parenthood!'  In one of the tougher trail running events, (the 13.4km)  I laughed out loud at the situation I had willingly signed up for, and perhaps not knowing what was ahead of me was a good thing!

It was as if that trail run was a physical mirror of my parenthood journey. I had no idea before having children how challenging and tough the postpartum period would be whilst facing postpartum mental health struggles. And once I got through the worst of my postpartum mental health challenges, my children then seemed to take turns in giving us unique medical hurdles to overcome. These moments really put to the test the coping skills I had learnt from my Gidget Foundation psychologist.

Just like the rocky hills and steep climbs of my trail run or the long nights and scary loneliness of postpartum mental health - my family and I got through these life challenges and have come out the other side.  

My mental health now feels like my running muscles - it's something I actively work at keeping strong and healthy - as I know that life will no doubt throw me some more surprising challenges, and I need to be ready and equipped to handle them; and so does every expectant and new parent.

It is for this reason that I will keep running. Gidget Foundation Australia is a very important cause close to my heart, and I hope every new parent can have access to it during one of their most precious and life-changing transitions."

Tracey is the founder of Motherhood Village Au and a certified postpartum care & education professional. Please join us in following her inspirational journey and supporting her fundraiser at: https://fundraise.gidgetfoundation.org.au/fundraisers/traceytyley/tracey-tyley-running-for-pnda-mental-health

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Media Contact

Media professionals should contact Gidget Foundation media@gidgetfoundation.org.au