Mountain Home Montana encourages moms to ask for help through ca - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Mountain Home Montana encourages moms to ask for help through campaign

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MISSOULA -

This weekend a new campaign is kicking off aimed to fight the stigma of asking for help. Mountain Home Montana is asking moms and other supporters to ask for help when they need it and offer help when they can.

Mountain Home Montana provides a home for young mothers who need a place to live, and also offers the resources so moms can eventually create safe, stable and nurturing homes of their own. That includes asking for help, something that often has a stigma around it, especially for people with mental illnesses or overwhelmed mothers.

22-year-old Anna McCauley knows just how difficult asking for help can be. She was in an unsafe environment, pregnant with her first daughter, when she began looking for resources. 

"It was very hard because in life, sometimes you can ask for help and people can spend too much time sympathizing and just giving to you and saying 'oh I'm so sorry for you' and they don't take the extra step of actually taking our hand and helping," says McCauley.

The executive director at Mountain Home, Crissie McMullan, says 20 percent of mothers experience clinical depression after birth. A lot of them don't get help for fear of being labeled incompetent or incapable. 

"One of the hardest things that they've done was come to Mountain Home because they had to admit that they need help and it can be embarrassing or shameful to admit that. They wanted to say 'hey, actually that was a big, brave step that we took' and what they did is they came here and asked for help with problems but what they found was their own strength to solve their own problems," says McMullan.

This campaign hopes to show that being a mom is hard. A lot of times it's isolating and you shouldn't have to do it alone.

Mountain Home offers several resources for mothers to help them create safe, stable and nurturing homes. They focus on health and wellness as well as building community engagements. A community center is open to mothers so they can come take life skills classes, such as nutrition and yoga, use computers, or socialize with other moms. They also we have community patterns to offer different resources.

"We're ready. We have a host of things as well as...you know I jut helped a mom with formula the other day so if people do not have the resources they need for the kids, we can help them with material goods as well as classes and educational opportunities," says Stoney Sasser, community center manager at Mountain Home.

With extra support from Mountain Home, McCauley is on the verge of completing her high school degree. She says coming to Mountain Home was the best decision she's ever made.

"Coming from the streets and when you don't have family in your life or whatever, Mountain Home kinda helps you learn sometimes family is not necessarily blood. It's people you bring into your life," says McCauley. 

The campaign hopes to garner 2,000 pledges from mothers and other supporters to "ask for help when i need it, and to offer help when i can."

The campaign kicks off on Saturday at the Southgate Mall from 12 - 8 p.m. where volunteers and staff will be talking with parents and handing out pledge cards.  As part of the "Strong Moms Ask for Help" campaign, they'll be sending out emails to people who take their pledge that provides further resources.

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