Aberlour calls for “lifesaving” donations ahead of festive period.
A charity is urging members of the public to remember children for whom Christmas can be a difficult time of year.
With five weekends left until 25 December, Aberlour has launched its Christmas appeal to raise money for children and families in Scotland affected by parental mental ill health.
Each year, 11,000 mothers will develop some form of mental health problem during pregnancy or in the first year after their baby is born.
Mental health problems are among the leading causes of death of mothers during pregnancy and the year after birth, but with support from Aberlour, parents and their children can recover and thrive.
Caitlin Armit is one young mother who has benefited from the charity’s support. She was given help and advice from Aberlour’s Perinatal Befriending Support Service in Forth Valley, and assigned a befriender, Claire, who had gone through similar circumstances.
She said: “This time two years ago I was at rock bottom. I was having suicidal thoughts. Harrison's birth had been traumatic; we'd had trouble bonding and I had post-natal depression.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say that Claire and Aberlour saved my life. If she wasn’t there to help me progress and become the woman I am today, then those thoughts could have turned to actions. I can’t thank them enough because I’m here for my little boy and seeing him grow every day.”
Pippa Johnston, director of fundraising and marketing at Aberlour, said: “This Christmas, Aberlour needs the public’s help. Children like Harrison and parents like Caitlin were helped thanks to Aberlour but there are thousands more children and families across Scotland who need our help.
“Of all the gifts you give this Christmas, a gift to Aberlour could be the one that saves lives.”
Caitlin added: “Please give what you can, pounds, pennies, anything, because it’s a life changing thing. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have my little boy and it wouldn’t be the same for him if he didn’t have me either."
Donations can be given via the Aberlour website, over the phone on 0800 085 6150, or by texting Aberlour to 70085 to give £5.