In December 2012 Dads in Distress (DIDs) announced the establishment of Mums in Distress (MIDs), a peer support group for Mums based on the same format as Dads in Distress. The first group commenced weekly meetings in Parramatta with further interest being fielded from the Northern beaches of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Brisbane and Melbourne.
The need for the group came about from the ever increasing contact from mums experiencing similar trauma to dads through divorce and separation, and finding difficulty in accessing support. The reality is that mums suffer similar anxieties as dads when separated from their children and are faced with the related issues. This can prove devastating not only to the parents, but first and foremost reflect on the children – the ones who can potentially suffer the most.
The group offers Mums a safe place to share their feelings without judgement, as often Mums going through divorce feel isolated and unable to talk to friends. This is where MIDs can help, storing up the bitterness, anger and grief related to separation eventually eats you away from the inside.
Like DIDs, the MIDs group will be facilitated by DIDs trained Mums working with the DIDs Sydney Services Coordinator Dr Des Perry. Dr Perry recognises how fantastic it is that mums who are separated from their children can now find a place in the community where they are understood, listened to and their grief is validated without stigma, they can begin to work through their emotions and start to reconnect with the community and rebuild their lives.
“DIDs are pleased that these mothers have found value in adopting our group model, and we look forward to seeing how we can support this development over time” said CEO Barry Guidera, “non-custodial Mums often have an extremely rough time, and it is great that we can play a part in relieving their distress”.
The Northern Beaches group meet weekly on Thursdays at 7.00 pm in the Freshwater Amateur Swimming Club, Lumsdain Drive, Freshwater. For more information about Mums in Distress call the DIDs Helpline on 1300 853 437, or visit the website – www.dadsindistress.asn.au