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Parents offered life-line by Stansted restaurant




Parents in need of more support have been thrown a life-line by the owner of Stansted’s newest coffee house, who herself suffered severe post-natal depression.

Jess Ellis said she knew how it felt to be in that “dark place” and wants to encourage others to venture out and join a series of informal Monday morning gatherings at Bear and Eden in Lower Street where professional advice will be on hand with the chance to chat to others feeling anxious, depressed or overwhelmed by parenthood.

Earlier this month the venue welcomed the London-based Calm Mamas Club, where guest speaker and author Suzy Reading gave a talk about self-care for mums. The "buzzy" event attracted 31 mums, who benefited from tips on how to realistically take time for themselves - "it wasn't about trying to book up a spa weekend!"

Bear & Eden, Lower Street, Stansted. First meeting of Calm Mamas Club. Coffee shop owner Jess Ellis (with bag) and speaker Suzy Reading (in blue) with a few of the mums attending. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (17222118)
Bear & Eden, Lower Street, Stansted. First meeting of Calm Mamas Club. Coffee shop owner Jess Ellis (with bag) and speaker Suzy Reading (in blue) with a few of the mums attending. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (17222118)

And now every Monday up until Christmas Jess is welcoming new Saffron Walden based charity, We Are Thrive, where each week a different subject will be tackled with counsellors and other professionals available to talk and offer advice.

Jess said the first event about IVF earlier this month only attracted one person and she believes people find some subjects too hard-hitting. But she urged them to give the sessions a try.

"We want to make it accessible to everybody and we will deal with these difficult subjects such as losing a baby, but in a very informal environment and with advice on hand and the chance to meet other people who are going through the same thing.

"It can be taboo for some, but it's an opportunity to talk about it with people who understand," said Jess, who is mum to Teddy (6) and Rex (20 months), whom the restaurant is named after.

"We Are Thrive is invaluable because the people running it are all trained mental health experts who have pooled together to create this non-profit making organisation."

The next session is Mucky and Mindful at the village allotments on Monday (Sept 30), followed by family yoga, a 'why am I so tired' session, early bonding and dealing with post natal depression.

"I am really passionate about this because most of these subjects I identify with and I want to raise awareness of mental health issues because I suffered so badly," said Jess.

"A year ago I was at the lowest of lows, but I have done a lot in that time and I just want to say to other people that it gets better and you will get through it. I worry that other people feel like that, so I want to say that it will be alright. I hope people do take that first step."

Full details of the weekly sessions, costing £5 for coffee and cake, can be found at www.bearandeden.com. Parents and children are welcome.



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