Mums rally around woman after her teary online postnatal depression plea: 'What do you need from the village?'

Picture: TikTok
Picture: TikTok 

When Juana Witty reached out for help on TikTok while struggling with postnatal depression, she could never have known the ripple effect her plea would have.

The 28-year-old has been inundated by mums offering support and sharing their own struggles after posting a clip to the social media platform in a desperate moment last month.

In it, she holds her then three-month-old baby, tears flowing, and admits: 'Post-partum depression is real, I didn't know I had it. But I could use some friends'.

Her heartfelt plea struck a chord and quickly went viral, notching up more than 3 million views. Among the close to 50,000 comments were thousands of other mums jumping in to offer support.

"I wish I could hug you mumma! Know you're not alone and don't be scared to ask your doctor for help. You'll get through this!," said one.

"What do you need from the village," offered another, "I know what you're going through and it's real and it's brutal and tough. Know that you are loved and you're doing great," encouraged another.

So strong was the response that Witty has now established a dedicated Facebook group where mums, like her, can find a safe space to share their challenges. 

Witty, who also had a nine and two-year-old, told Fox News she'd been overwhelmed by the response. 

Advertisement

"My phone just kept going off," she told the network. "People were commenting and telling me that they're there for me and if I need anything to call them."

"That's whenever it hit me because ... I found myself crying and scared. I didn't know. And my husband was at work, so I was by myself and I really needed somebody to talk to."

Having been empowered by their words of encouragement, she was inspired to create her own online support group, Motherly Support, for mum's experiencing anxiety and depression. 

"For anybody that feels like they're alone or they can't talk to people in their family, they have these people that they can vent to without judgment," Witty told Fox.

Comedian Angelina Spicer, a vocal advocate for post-partum anxiety and depression awareness, also paid the mum a visit. Moved by the emotion in Witty's clip, she said she felt compelled to 'show up' for her. 

"... When y'all DM'd me Juana's #tiktok video, I took my own advice and I DID SOMETHING! I got on a plane, flew to Nashville, and drove drove two hours to Kentucky to show up for this mama!," she captioned a series of photos of their meeting on Instagram.

"Juana conveyed such raw emotion in that video and I knew that I needed to show up for her. I had a beautiful time with her family. I thank them for trusting me and allowing me into her home, and into their lives at the most vulnerable point in their lives." 

It's estimated the condition affects close to 100,000 new or expectant parents in Australia. If you or someone you know is showing signs of PNDA, help is available.

Visit the Gidget Foundation Australia, call PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) on 1300 726 306, Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or talk to your GP.