WINNIPEG – As hundreds of Winnipeggers gathered at the Forks Thursday to remember the Gibson family, the tragedy has sparked a conversation some say is long overdue.
Last week, two-year-old Anna and baby Nicolas were found dead inside their Westwood-area home. The body of their mother, Lisa Gibson, was found days later in the Red River.
It’s believed Lisa was struggling with postpartum mental health issues. Now, phones are ringing off the hook while emails and Facebook messages pour in to organizations from other mothers dealing with the illness.
“We have just had such amazing public response,” said the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba’s Nicole Gamble. “A lot of people calling the organization.”
Gamble said they’ve been overwhelmed with donations, people offering to volunteer and phone calls from people needing help – especially calls from men.
“(They’re) asking how can I get help,” said Gamble. “How can I get more information? Can you link me with other resources? So that’s huge. It just tells us that that’s another program we need to work on – support for dads.”
The Mood Disorders Association’s office located at 4 Fort St. in downtown Winnipeg is quite small and due to the large volume of calls for help, Gamble wonders if they’ll need a larger facility.
“We’re hopefully going to become a one-stop-shop for anyone dealing with any kind of mental health illness who’s needing help,” said Gamble.
The talk of postpartum depression and psychosis has led two Winnipeg moms to create a YouTube video which shares hope and encouragement to mothers that they’re not alone.
“We’re not all rocking it every day, all the time,” said Amy Frank, a mom of two young children. “And that’s ok. It’s ok to need help.”
The video has been viewed more than 1,900 times within hours of it being posted Thursday night.
“It is overwhelming,” said Jenn Wittick. “I’m getting Facebook messages, emails and phone calls.”