May 25, 2023 By Liz Klein
Mom2Mom (M2M) is a women’s support group for and by moms, encouraging candid conversation and honest discussion about mental health, removing stigma while inspiring community.
This all started with a conversation on a porch, between two newly reconnected friends who dared to be honest with one another about mental health. Sharing personal stories and struggles of their own and of loved ones with bipolar, anxiety, depression and suicide, they contemplated how, and if, they could ever help to change the mountain of stigma surrounding mental health.
Then, pushed by tragedies that impacted our town so deeply last fall with two parents taking their own lives, they both had the same reaction – it is officially time they do something.
Logically, they knew they were not the only two women in town impacted by various aspects of mental health. These heartbreaking deaths crystalized that, pushing them to finally act. The mental health stigma, from generations of shame, guilt, misunderstanding, and lack of proper support for anyone in need of help or guidance, is real. Mom2Mom wants to change that by normalizing mental health struggles and encouraging transparent discussion, the same way we’d talk about other medical issues.
These two friends reached out to various women in Hingham that would bring different social and/or professional understanding and perspectives, asking if they would be interested in getting together to brainstorm if, and how, they could find a way to support women in Hingham. After a few months of get-togethers and discussions, Mom2Mom (M2M) came to be. The M2M team is comprised of 10 Hingham moms: Emily Dowal, Julie Polmonari, Sarah Deady, Adrien Duncan, Ally Hart, Liz Klein, Meena LaRonde, Carolyn Malone, Heather Smith and Amanda Shields. The team shares one common bond – finding ways to support women in Hingham who are struggling in any capacity, big or small, with anxiety, depression, grief, the sometimes overwhelming day-to-day challenges of family, work, and life, or any other challenges they face.
The M2M team knows the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness continues to plague our community and society. The pressure many women feel that they have to keep up appearances while hiding their struggles is real, often out of fear of judgment. Too often, women – and moms, in particular – put their needs at the bottom of the “to-do” list because of an unwavering commitment to supporting their families, their careers and/or their social obligations.
M2M hopes you agree – it’s enough. It’s time to break the mental health stigma and stop hiding our struggles because of it. It’s time to start talking about mental health challenges in the same way we talk about any other medical issue. It’s time to normalize being able to stand up, raise one’s hands and say out loud, “I need help,” “I’m struggling,” or “I need support” without fear of being judged. This is the community M2M wants to create – and it’s the type of community we want Hingham to be.
If you or anyone you know is facing similar challenges, could use an outlet, just wants to listen, or find out how to better support themselves and others, M2M is here to help. Please join us for our ongoing series, on the first Thursday of every month (next meeting is June 1st), at 7:30 PM at Krigsman Yoga (25 Central St, Hingham). There is no pressure to share – the hope is just by knowing you are not alone and possibly finding a new connection with someone going through a similar situation, we can start breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. When you join us, please note that casual, comfortable attire is highly encouraged. We welcome you to bring a mat, blanket or chair to sit on, and look forward to supporting you alongside moms in our community who care.
4 thoughts on “Hingham Moms work to end mental health stigma.”
Way to go ladies!!! Julie I am so proud of you for doing something so important!!! Let me know if I can ever be of help. You all are saving families and lives. Hope more will follow in your footsteps!!!
Removing stigma begins by removing teaching it. I see no signs we are ready to stop teching it.
Harold A Maio
It is interesting how easily we are taught “there is a stigma” to mental illnesses. How willingly we accept it.
Harold A Maio
Is there a sign up required to join?