When people think of superheroes, they think of spandex suits and capes; but as the saying goes "not all heroes wear capes." That is the case with Amanda Baker and her sister Lisa Wertman. I don’t know about you, but when I am on the couch, I am eating chips and binge-watching Netflix.
That isn’t the case with these ladies; they are discussing ideas and putting their goals into actions.
“Mental health is such an important aspect of one’s life, and so many people are affected by it in one way or another. Many people don't like to talk about it. We want to make a change, make a difference in people's lives. We want to bring parents together to make this change happen,” Amanda explained.
I have to agree, being who suffers from anxiety and depression myself. I know how hard it can be to talk about it. Talking about it for me, makes it seem so real, and that can be scary. Also, I find talking about how it affects me to someone who doesn't fully understand depression can be quite tricky. Not understand how doing a straightforward task like combing your hair can feel like there is a mountain on your shoulders, that looking in the mirror and not genuinely seeing you can feel like someone is squeezing your soul from the inside. Depression often feels like I don't have control of my body like I've lost the connection within myself. Apart of me screaming and banging to get out to try to make me better, but then the part of me controlling my body like a puppet and using the negative side of my conscience to guide my thoughts and actions. The feeling of thinking you're not a good mother or wife and that your family would be better without you. Well, the details of my depression and anxiety is a story for another day that I promise to tell once I am ready.
When Amanda contacted me about Parents Unite and told me more about her non-for-profit, I just knew I had to write a blog about it and share this fantastic organization with others who might need it. Upon discussing their ideas and wanting to put their plans into action; first Amanda and Lisa needed to narrow down what exactly they were going to do to execute their marvellous goal. They wanted to bring awareness about mental health and make a change, so they decided to launch Parents Unite on Facebook in October 2018. You can use this link to go to Parents Unite Group by clicking here.
One of Amanda and Lisa's main goals was to help people get out of their house and to interact with others. This is crucial not just for those affected with mental illness, but everyone. We are so wrapped up into our technology and virtual communication gadgets that these meet-ups and events are so perfect. Amanda and Lisa took this a step further when came up with the idea of business advertising and raffles. They put two and two together and are helping people from isolating themselves at home and saving business owners with saving some advertisement costs by hosting such events!
We all know everyone loves a good raffle and prizes, so brilliantly they decided to exchange advertising for products or services. A business can offer a service and/or item two times a year to be used for said prizes for advertising and let me tell you it's been working flawlessly. Parents Unite's primary goal is to make their members happy, and they offer as much as they can to do so.
You may be thinking "okay cool they started a group, so what," but let me shed some light on the hard work and dedication these ladies had to help their beloved community. I had asked Amanda this question below and here was her excellent response.
What obstacles did you overcome since starting Parents Unite?
We had lots of paperwork to become a non-profit. At first, our name was turned down, but we fought for what we believed in through letters and phone calls. In the end, we were finally granted the not for profit status. Another obstacle we had was when we started to send emails out to businesses through our new email address and then got locked out permanently with no warning because too many emails were sent (they thought we were robots). It was very frustrating, but we weren't giving up, and we overcame that also.
This answer proves that saying, "If first, you don't succeed, try and try again."
Parent Unite has come so far since when they first launched in October 2018, having members continuously say it was such a brilliant idea and they are happy they found the group. Members keep saying that Parents Unite has helped them so much. Amanda explained, "It touches our hearts every time and reassures us that all the time and effort we are putting into this (Parents Unite) truly is accomplishing what we set out to achieve.
From what I can see, Parents Unite isn't just a Facebook group that does events to bring awareness to mental illness; it is a community filled with love and support and bringing people together and giving them a sense of belonging.
Parents Unite is having their first workshop “Managing Feelings of Stress and Anxiety in Everyday Life with Stephanie Farrell” which is happening on March 26th. There will be workshops happening every last Tuesday of each month.
If there is one thing we can all take from Parents Unite, it’s that we aren’t alone in our journey and that there always be someone in this world rooting for us to overcome our obstacles and rooting us to the finish line.