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I was so badly affected by post-natal depression that I couldn’t even touch my own child

DJ Simone Riley, who has her own show on Legacy FM, Manchester’s African Caribbean community station, decided to share her story

When radio DJ Simone Riley discovered she was pregnant, she could not wait for her baby to arrive.

But for her, pregnancy was far from easy – she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, carpal tunnel, pre-eclampsia, and discovered she was a sickle cell carrier.

Almost everything that could have gone wrong went wrong, but the worst was yet to come.

After the birth of her daughter Baye, now five, Simone found herself so badly affected by post-natal depression that she could not even touch her own child.

Every time Simone went on Facebook, she was overwhelmed by photos of other women enjoying motherhood; she started to wonder if things would be better if she wasn’t around.

One in 10 mothers suffer from post-natal depression, yet it is an issue rarely spoken about.

Now Simone, who has her own show on Legacy FM, Manchester’s African Caribbean community station, decided to share her story.

To mark International Women’s Day last month, the mum-of-one – known as Miss Diva to her listeners – opened up about her experience in a hope of stamping out the stigma surrounding the topic.

Speaking to her listeners, Simone said: “I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to touch my baby, I didn’t know how to cope. I was crying, I wasn’t eating.

“I had all these thoughts and feelings, it was like I wasn’t in control of my thoughts.

“I thought if I wasn’t here, would everything be better off?”

Overcome with emotion, she said it was an experience she had never discussed publicly before.

“People will think, you’ve got everything – you’ve got a child, a house over your head, food in the fridge – why are you upset? Why are you feeling down?

“I didn’t know why I was feeling the way I was.”

Simone hopes by telling her story it will encourage other women suffering from post-natal depression to seek help.

She told the M.E.N: “The way I coped was by going to speak to someone, that was the first big milestone and that person helped change my life because they got me back to me.

“It took three years to get me back to my normal self.

“Baye was born in 2012, at the time I had quite a lot of stuff going on with me, I was running a business, my radio show was making progress.

“I’m a very bubbly character, and well known in the community for the stuff that I do. At the time I was also working with children that had been kicked out of mainstream schools.

“But after I had Baye I noticed something wasn’t right. It wasn’t immediately, but after a few weeks I was really struggling.

“I couldn’t connect with her, I’d see friends on Facebook with their babies all lovey dovey and wonder why I didn’t have that.

“I didn’t know if it was because I was tired – babies don’t come with an instruction manual – but it came to the point where I couldn’t even get myself out of bed.

“I was having really dark thoughts, I thought about ending my life, thinking it would be easier if I wasn’t around.

“It was those thoughts that made me realise something wasn’t right, but I didn’t want to burden my family, I didn’t want them to worry or think I wasn’t coping.

“I went to the doctor and told them everything, they said to me they didn’t know how I’d coped for as long as I had alone.

“They wanted to put me on anti-depressants, but that’s another taboo in the black community, I didn’t want that so I had to think of another way to overcome the depression.

“I started having counselling and it was the best thing I ever could have done. My counsellor just listened to me, they didn’t judge, they were completely neutral and understanding.”

Simone, who presents the Miss Diva Breakfast Show on Legacy FM twice a week, said she used to put up a front to the outside world.

“I remember bottling everything up when I was doing my shows, and then as soon as I got home I’d get upset,” she added.

“My appetite changed as well, and that was a big thing as I love my food.

“I am quite a glam person, I like to dress well, but after Baye was born I just couldn’t be bothered and would stay in my dressing gown.”

Simone made the decision to come off social media, saying that seeing other mums with their children only made things harder.

“I was off it for three years. I’d sit there looking through Facebook at other people with their babies, and kept comparing myself to them, asking ‘why can’t I do that?’

“Sometimes social media can cause detriment to a mother and the way they bond with their child.

“Instead I started to focus on me and getting myself better, I realised that I couldn’t look after my daughter if I couldn’t look after myself.

“It took three years to get me to where I am now, and looking back I can’t believe I was in that place.

“I’m back to my bubbly self, which is largely down to the incredible support I had from my family once I opened up to them about my post-natal depression.

“My relationship with Baye, now five, now incredible. We are inseparable, always together, always having fun.

“I’m really happy in myself and that’s why I decided it was time for me to share my experience and talk about what I’ve been through.

“The main thing I want to do is to send a message to other mothers going through this that they are not alone. Help and support is out there and they should never be ashamed to ask for it.”

The Miss Diva Breakfast Show features a regular slot known as ‘The Health Hour’, which is co-hosted by Greater Manchester GP, Dr Aisha Malik.

It was during this that Simone chose to speak about post-natal depression.

Dr Malik explained that post-natal depression can affect as many as one in 10 women.

“The symptoms include feelings of guilt, not being good enough, low mood, lack of enjoyment, lack of interest in the baby, irritability, poor concentration and feeling unable to cope with anything”, she added.

“Thoughts of harming the baby can occur and in severe cases the mother may even feel like harming herself.

“Simone’s story shows that help is available and that you can recover.

“It’s important to get help and not worry about what people will think of you if you are feeling this way. Speaking to your health visitor or GP is the next step to getting help.

“Don’t bottle up your feelings, you do not have to suffer alone.”

The Miss Diva Breakfast Show is on Legacy 90.1FM every Monday and Tuesday from 7-10am, with The Health Hour on Tuesdays between 9-10am.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/badly-affected-post-natal-depression-14530056

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Opportunities/Jobs Training/Workshops

Apply for Expert Voices: BAME Talent Days

Do you want to share your expertise and knowledge by appearing on television and radio? Are you from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background?

The BBC Academy is holding a series of free introductions to the world of broadcasting to help BAME men and women feel comfortable appearing on television, radio and online as expert contributors or presenters.

These events will help boost the diversity of experts in the media and follow the acclaimed Expert Women campaign which ran in 2013.

We are running five days across the country. The first will take place in London on 9 October and details of how to apply are below.

The days will offer a range of practical media experiences, including sessions on camera and in a radio studio as well as master classes and networking with experienced programme makers and industry leaders.

 

Event: Expert Voices: BAME Talent Day London

Location:  BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

Date: Thursday 9 October 2014

 

What we are looking for: specialist areas
If you have recognised expertise in one of the key subject areas listed below and are interested in appearing in the media and live or work close to London, we want to hear from you. If you don’t live nearby or have expertise in a different area, take a look at our future sessions which are taking place around the UK.

Cultural Commentary – is your expertise in popular entertainment, the arts, literature or areas like social policy or national identity? 

History – the Tudors, the First World War, the ancient world or modern Britain, which period are you passionate about? Are you an academic, custodian, auctioneer or museum curator?  

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Health and medicine – are you medically qualified?

Finance and statistics – can you communicate about numbers, from personal finance to big business?

Food and nutrition – are you a chef, cook or expert on farming and food production?

 

How to apply
You will need to send us your CV and a short film of no more than two minutes duration. The film should be very straightforward – and can be as simple as a friend recording you on a smartphone.

The film should consist of you talking to camera:

a)     Give your name and job title at the start, explain your job in layman’s terms and talk briefly about what you do.

b)     Relate a story, within your area of expertise, that you want to tell and think the general public would find interesting.

The film should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo or similar so that we can view it.

 

Making your short film


1. We are looking for people who can really bring their subject to life in a way that would appeal to a broad audience.

2. Keep a mainstream audience in mind and avoid complicated terminology.

3. Convey your enthusiasm and passion for your subject.

4. Don’t worry about producing a super slick film; smartphone quality is ideal. Just keep it simple – we aren’t evaluating your camera skills. The most important thing is that we can see and hear you clearly.

 

Closing date 
The closing date for applications is 11.59pm on Sunday 31 August 2014.

Please only apply if you are able to be in BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA on Thursday 9 October 2014. 

Please note that the BBC is unable to refund any expenses incurred in applying for, or attending, the training day.

 

So we can see your film
A straightforward way to get your clip to us is to set up a YouTube account, and upload your short film there. You will need a Gmail email account in order to set up a YouTube account. (Please note that YouTube and Gmail are separate third parties that are not affiliated to the BBC.  You will therefore be subject to their third party terms and conditions.)

Once you have set your YouTube account up, please check your settings. You must change your YouTube default setting from private to ‘unlisted’.

The privacy settings on your entry videos must be set as ‘unlisted’ in order for us to view your films.

Please could you name your clip in the following format:

Firstname surname expertise 

If you choose not to upload your film to YouTube you will need to burn it onto a CD or DVD and post it to Expert Voices, BBC Academy, College of Production, BC2C1, Broadcast Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TS. Your parcel will need to arrive at the BBC by Monday 25 August.  We will not be able to return any CDs or other materials to you.

 

Application Checklist
Please send an email containing the following:

1. Personal details

a)     Name

b)     Category (Cultural Commentary, History, Science, Health and Medicine, Finance and Statistics or Food and Nutrition)

c)     Mobile phone number

d)     Email address

e)     Job title – in layman’s terms, clarify what your job involves

f)      Details of your ethnic group (please identify yourself against the Office for National Statistics categories listed on the ONS website).

 

2.  A link to a film of you talking to camera about you, your area of expertise and a story/issue that you feel needs to be told.

 

3.  One written paragraph explaining the story/issue you have chosen to talk about. Why does this story need airtime? Why you are passionate about it? (250 words max.)

 

4.  Your CV as an attachment. Please name your CV file in the following format: First name surname CV

 

5.  The following paragraph, deleted as applicable (see Privacy Policy, below)

do  / don’t give my permission to be informed if the BBC Academy holds further masterclasses.

do  / don’t give the BBC Academy my permission to share my details with other producers or broadcasters.

do  / don’t give my permission to the BBC Academy to include my video in an Expert Voices YouTube channel and playlist.

 

6.  The name and contact details for someone from whom we can take a reference for you.

 

All to be emailed to: expertvoices.london@bbc.co.uk

 

How we will choose the delegates for this event
A panel of experts from the BBC Academy and the wider BBC will view all the material submitted and will select up to 30 delegates, plus up-to five for a waiting-list, based on the following criteria:

  • Passion for your chosen subject
  • Communication skills
  • USP as an expert in your field
  • Your potential as on screen/on mic talent
  • Relevance and audience awareness

The judges’ decision will be final and we will not be able to give you individual feedback or enter into any correspondence. We will take up references before confirming the final delegates and the people on the waiting list.

 

Privacy Policy (see application checklist)

  • We would like to add you to our mailing list so that we could contact you about future BBC events. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.
  • We will also make your contact details and your clip available to producers across the industry who may contact you. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.
  • We plan to include clips on a BBC Expert Voices YouTube Channel. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.

We will store your information for 12 months, after which it will be securely deleted from our systems.

PLEASE SEE THE BBC’S FULL PRIVACY POLICY FOR REFERENCE.

 

Further events

We are also holding Expert Voices events in Birmingham, Salford, Glasgow and Bristol. If you live and work near these locations and have expertise in the subject areas required, we’d love to hear from you.

 

BIRMINGHAM: Thursday 27 November 2014

The subject areas will be:

Health and medicine – are you medically qualified?

Rural affairs – do you have specialist knowledge of farming and food production?

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Business and economics – can you demystify the world of business, from global finance to kitchen table start-ups?

Consumer finance – can you talk knowledgeably about everything from mortgages to pay day lenders?

Community matters – is your expertise in social policy, local education or family and religious affairs?

We will open for applications on 1 September 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this event before then, please email expertvoices.birmingham@bbc.co.uk and we will remind you when you’re able to apply.

 

BRISTOL:  Thursday 29 January 2015

The subject areas will be:

Antiques / fine art – do you know your Ming from your Meissen? Do you collect, buy or sell desirable decorative items or advise other collectors?

Gardening and horticulture – are you a garden designer, a landscaper or a botanist? Are you passionate about shaping and beautifying the natural world?

Rural affairs – do you have specialist knowledge of farming, food production or rural issues?

Conservation and environment – are you an expert on alternative forms of power or preserving the natural world?

Natural history – are you a zoologist, anthropologist, geologist or biologist? Can you communicate about animal or human behaviours or the physical forces which formed the world?

Food – are you a chef or cook? Can you prepare delicious food or talk about what we eat?

Applications will open on 26 October 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this event please email expertvoices.bristol@bbc.co.uk and we will remind you when you’re able to apply.

 

SALFORDThursday 26 February 2015

The subject areas will be:

History – the Tudors, the First World War, the ancient world or modern Britain, which periods are you passionate about? Are you an academic, custodian, auctioneer or museum curator?

Science / health – are you medically qualified?

Sport – do you coach, play or comment on football, athletics or other sport?

Business and economics– can you demystify the world of business, from global finance to kitchen table start-ups?

Consumer finance – can you talk knowledgeably about everything from mortgages to pay day lenders?

Art – is your expertise in the visual arts, popular entertainment or literature?

We will open for applications on 1 December 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this date please email expertvoices.salford@bbc.co.uk and we will remind you once applications can be accepted.

 

GLASGOW: Thursday 12 March 2015

The subject areas will be:

Arts – is your expertise in the visual arts, popular entertainment or literature?

Medicine – are you medically qualified?

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Community affairs – can you talk knowledgeably about local government, education or social policy?

Law and justice – do you have a legal qualification and can you communicate clearly about legal affairs?

Children’s broadcasting – are you a specialist in history, science, coding, zoology, agriculture or medicine and can you communicate these subjects to a young audience?

Applications open on 5 January 2015. If you would like to express your interest in this date please email expertvoices.glasgow@bbc.co.uk and we will remind you once applications can be accepted.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/work-in-broadcast/events/expert-voices/article/art20140716164003212