‘Climb out of Darkness’ hike offers support for moms facing postpartum depression

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Amberleah White is a mother and a survivor, and she was among those who joined a hike to "Climb out of Darkness" at Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City Saturday.

"[There were] times when I just wanted to scream and throw and run away and not be a mom anymore," White said. “...I felt really trapped, like, I loved my babies, I wanted them, they were miracles, but it was really hard to feel like me again. I felt like I lost my identity."

She said it took two years to get pregnant, and when she finally became a mom she felt depressed, which was the last thing she expected.

"It hit me totally out of the blue,” White said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 to 20 percent of women who give birth experience postpartum depression symptoms. At 15 percent, that’s nearly 600,000 women in America suffering every year.

"I had some friends, yes, that have and it's very difficult for them, and, you know, it's just a matter of providing support for them and trying to be there for them," said Bailey Ludlam.

Moms, dads, friends and family showed support and helped raise funds for Postpartum Progress, a non-profit organization and online community of support resources for women around the world.

"Last year, coming to the hike was a big eye opener, and seeing how many people who have dealt with it or know somebody who has, and some people have sadly lost loved ones to that," White said.

This was the second annual Climb Out of the Darkness event in Salt Lake City, and organizers said the response has been so positive they plan to do it every year.

"This is a great hike, to remember... what happens when you do come out of that: that there is still hope and you can get through it," White said.

And from one mom to another: “Don't be afraid to talk about it, especially to your closest friends and other adults, because someone you know has been there before, somebody, whether they've told you about it or not, they have and they can help you,” White said.