MENTAL health is coming out of the shadows.

This once taboo subject is finally being let out into the open and given the profile it rightly deserves.

Publicity in all its forms from newspapers to TV and social media is helping to raise awareness and providing platforms for people to speak out and share experiences they would probably have previously kept to themselves.

Largely the reason is they feel far more comfortable doing so because of the profile mental health is having, but what we also need to accept and appreciate is some still feel mental health is a stigma.

Hopefully, education and awareness through the many positive initiatives available will help to tackle this.

Trish Pedley is open and honest about her own mental health issues. The 37-year-old who was born on the Ivory Coast and lived in London before love brought her to Bradford, talks about her struggles which became more apparent following the birth of her oldest son, Teddy, now three.

“I struggled with my mental health from my late teens - I think just being a teenager, I didn’t really feel I fitted in at school,” says Trish.

Anxiety was another emotion Trish struggled with and that really came to the fore following Teddy’s birth as she recalls.

“I think being a first time mum is difficult because you don’t expect to know how you will feel; sleep deprivation is a killer and I felt so worried about him all the time.

“I was so worried I would never let anybody look after him. I had a fear that if he went somewhere what if he was really upset and I wasn’t there to look after him and wasn’t there to calm him down? I felt really anxious about him all the time and really low.”

In addition to Trish’s anxieties, she also felt out of control during Teddy’s birth and after falling pregnant a second time with Ezra, now one, she was determined not to repeat the experience - opting for a home birth instead.

“When I got pregnant with Ezra the anxiety ramped up again but I had a home birth with Ezra and that was amazing.

“I was four hours at home in a pool watching Harry Potter and it felt amazing.

“I was physically very poorly after Teddy’s birth but I wasn’t after Ezra and I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt after my second birth. I thought ‘is this what it actually feels like to give birth?”

Eager to find out about other mums’ birthing experiences, Trish set up and ran a free online survey.

Her aim was to try and help other mums who may need support dealing with issues she had experienced herself such as mental health, post natal depression and generally feeling low.

“I started off with some questions, I put it to a few of my friends and asked them about it and put it on social media and heard from 100 mums wanting to share their stories,” explains Trish.

Inspired by the response she received, Trish felt the need to provide a platform, a safe space for women to share their experiences - and not just online. Hey Mama Club was born.

Trish explains she chose the name as she says it reaches out to women - it’s mums talking to other mums, being there for each other and supporting each other.

After launching in April last year, Trish held a get together in a coffee shop to gauge interest and now holds weekly Friday morning meet-ups from 10am at the Kirkgate Centre in Shipley.

Trish explains the aim is to provide a place where women can share their feelings among friends and won’t be judged.

If they are feeling depressed or low ‘Hey Mama’ gives them the opportunity to say it among those with an understanding of how they feel.

The sessions are similar to a coffee morning - a gathering of mums with their children, chatting over coffee and biscuits.

“We just chat. It’s a real safe space. If they want to sit and be quiet they can and just chill. It’s like a family and people genuinely care about each other,” explains Trish.

She is currently in the process of establishing Hey Mama as a Community Interest Company enabling her to apply for grands and funding.

Now Trish is hoping more mums will join them.

“Come and be as you are and you are very welcome.

“I just don’t want people to feel like they are alone or there is no-one they can talk to.

“There is still such a stigma around mental health,” says Trish, explaining how people often wouldn’t go to the doctors with issues about mental health yet they would if their leg hurt.

“I want to provide a place where people feel loved, where they can be themselves,” says Trish.

For more information about Hey Mama, or to get involved, contact:- heymamaclub on Facebook and Instagram, or visit

By Sally Clifford