A YOUNG mum who suffered from depression is inspiring people through her new role as a support worker.

Sarah Pownall, 35, from Knutsford, was diagnosed with post-natal depression a year after the birth of her son Leland, who will be six on Christmas Day.

She was struggling to look after a new baby and deal with a relationship breakdown, but after seeking support now helps people in her community through her role as volunteer co-ordinator and support worker at The Welcome at Longridge.

Sarah said: “Depression isn’t simply a case of mind over matter, and it’s fine to ask for help if you’re struggling. That first step is the scariest, but it’s the best thing you can do to get support and start to change things for the better.

“Looking after yourself has to be a priority, and it’s not selfish to give yourself that help.

“If you’re feeling good and happy you’re able to support your family, friends and community – but it has to start with you.”

There are community services, groups and support available in the borough, such as Connected Communities centres, children’s centres and libraries where you can speak to a friendly face, get information and meet people with similar interests or challenges.

In many centres there are community cafés like the Welcome Café, where you can get a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea.

Sarah added: “I’m telling my story in the hope it reaches that one person who might be sat like I was - hair in a mess, wearing pyjamas all day and trying to cope with a screaming baby.

“Life doesn’t have to be that way, so please find that ounce of energy to walk through the door of a community centre, pick up the phone or go online and find someone to help you.

“The biggest discovery for me was that I wasn’t the only one to be feeling this way. It was a huge relief to share experiences with others.”

Sarah is going from strength to strength, raising a happy and healthy family, leading a ‘stronger women’ course, speaking in support of her local children’s centre at a public meeting, working towards getting on a social work degree course and a new job.