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Media Publications about my Mental Health Journey and Maternal Journal

Recently I have been interviewed by two local newspapers about my own struggles with postnatal depression and the new Maternal Journal Workshops in Ocean Grove. While I do think that it is important to tell our stories to shed light on mental ill health and bust myths and stereotypes, I feel like the benefits of Maternal Journal took a backseat in both articles.

While Geelong Advertiser journalist Tamara McDonald did a great job at balancing my personal history with the information about the new group in Ocean Grove, I did miss the fact, that Maternal Journal is a workshop that will benefit any and all mothers regardless of where they are at with their mental health or in which season of mothering they are in.

The journalist who interviewed me for The Voice and Geelong Independent, Jena Carr, focused her entire article around my personal experience with postnatal depression and mentioned maternal journal only briefly during her article.

I would like to emphasize that I do appreciate my story being told, because I truly belief that this can inspire other people to find help and will make people feel seen who might be suffering in silence. However, my intention was not to be in the spotlight of these articles. My intention was to let people know about Maternal Journal and how wonderful it is.

So even though it feels like a success to have gotten some media attention - at the same time it feels a little bit disappointing because of the selected focus the journalists chose. And I get it - emotion sells - my personal history sells. That is what is interesting about me and that is what they are trained to focus on. Nevertheless it all left a bland aftertaste for me.

I will now re-write these articles in a way I would have liked to see it. This will help me process and will feel satisfying to my system ;)

Journaling Workshop supports Mother's Wellbeing and Mental Health in Ocean Grove

Perinatal Counsellor, Lisa Quinney, brings mothers together to get creative while exploring their experiences with mothering

Relaxing music is playing in the background, you can hear pens scribbling on paper, it smells like tea and freshly baked cake. There are arts and craft supplies scattered all over the tables, colourful texters, paints, scissors and glue sticks. A group of women is deeply concentrated on their journaling entries. One of the mums is nursing her baby, while writing into her journal - multitasking, a state of being that all mothers only know too well.

Later they share with each other what they wrote about and what it means to them. Lisa Quinney, facilitator of the group, nods empathetically. Laughs are shared, tears are wiped and hugs are given at the end of the session. This is Maternal Journal in Ocean Grove.

Counsellor Lisa Quinney
Instead of: "Leopold’s Lisa Quinney struggled with postnatal depression following the birth of her second daughter." I would write: "Lisa Quinney uses journaling as a tool so support her mental health and wellbeing."

One of the participating mothers describes what she loves about being part of the group:

"What I find so brilliant is the honesty of everyone, the mutual respect and interest".

Maternal Journal is a global community movement, founded it 2017 in the UK, offering creative tools and techniques to support the huge changes, joys and challenges mothers go through in pregnancy, birth and parenthood. Maternal Journal have worked with artists, therapists and doulas to make helpful journaling resources free to use.

"Each step-by-step activity shows you how to make something for your journal. Including poetry and prose writing to drawing and painting – all designed to fit in with the busy life of a parent." explains perinatal counsellor and postnatal depression survivor, Lisa Quinney, who has brought the concept to Ocean Grove. "When I got unwell eight years ago it was a combination of things that made me sick. So it makes sense that a combination of things have helped me to get well again, too. Journaling and genuine connection with other mums are two very helpful tools of this process."

Recent studies have shown that 1 in five mothers struggle with mental ill health during or after the birth of their child. "This concerning number does not seem to motivate current structures and systems to change for the better. This is why it is so important that brave individuals of the community are stepping forward to help close the gaps of the system. This is how we motivate change and support the wellbeing and mental health of our incredible mums." says Mrs Quinney, whose passion for her work is evident.

The Maternal Journal group provides a positive outlet for some of the new feelings and challenges some might experience, both physically and emotionally in pregnancy and new parenthood. "One of the best things about journaling in a group is sharing a safe space to connect with other people. By exploring our emotions, thoughts and experiences in a creative way, we get to be vulnerable and connect with each other through the language of art." says Lisa Quinney.

To sign up for the workshop at the Bellarine Training and Community Hub, please head to

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