As one of the winners at this years Time Out Dubai Kids Award, we wanted to spread awareness about Andrea Allen’s charity Out of the Blues.
How did Out of the Blues come about?
Out of the Blues was founded in January 2013 by myself, Andrea and a couple of other Postnatal Depression survivors. We founded the group to offer peer support to women suffering in Dubai. We felt that when we really needed help there was very little support or understanding available so we wanted to rectify that.
Since that day Out of the Blues has continued to grow beyond our wildest dreams and now has over 800 members throughout the UAE and beyond and continues to grow daily.
When we first came up with the idea of starting Out of the Blues we anticipated it being a simple Facebook page, a safe place for people to talk about how they were feeling and get support from those who truly understood, other women who had been through it themselves. Little did we know so much more was needed and wanted throughout the UAE not just here in Dubai.
What does Out of the Blues offer?
Out of the Blues is now an organisation dedicated to supporting women suffering from Antenatal/Postnatal Depression, Postpartum Psychosis and other depressive illnesses. In addition to the support we give to the individual affected by this illness we also lend support to their families.
Women are often going undiagnosed for years due to the stigma, social pressures and misunderstanding of this potentially fatal illness. There is also a growing trend in male PND sufferers from the pressure of becoming a new father, social expectations and professional responsibilities. No matter who the sufferer is the impact is on the entire family and many are struggling with no support, a lack of knowledge of where to go for help or who to talk to. We are really keen to raise awareness of this illness and help point people in the right direction for the right support.
We work extremely closely with organisations such as Lighthouse Arabia, Healthbay PolyClinic, Camali Clinic and a few more to ensure that our members are getting the help and support they need from every aspect. We are currently the only providers of support like this within the UAE and, although we are still very much in our infancy, we have come a long way already. However, in order to continue with this progression, we need to become a registered non-profit organisation or obtain charitable status. We are currently looking for local CSR sponsors to help us achieve our dream. However, we are finding it extremely difficult to find people willing to be associated with Mental Illness so if anyone feels they might be able to help we would love to hear from you.
We know how hard it is to suffer from PND alone with no support; it is a long and lonely road to travel by yourself. We truly believe setting up Out of the Blues as a charity or non-profit would help many thousands of families here within our community.
We are extremely proud of the work that we are doing and feel that our relationship with such reputable organisation’s as those listed above really validates our purposes.
We also have the honor of having our work recognised by Ahlan Hot 100 and we recently won The Time Out Dubai Kids Award for Special Recognition to Pre & Post Natal Care.
For more information visit: http://www.outoftheblues.support