Having struggled herself as a mum of two in a foreign country, Andrea Allen co-founded Out of the Blues in 2013 to help women suffering from postnatal depression. Recognising a gap in support services for those with the illness, she teamed up with four other women to offer a listening ear to Dubai-based mothers facing a difficult time. Sharing their respective expertise in psychology, midwifery and child care, they provide a surrogate support network, helping mums long after depression first takes hold.
Overwhelmed by the response to the non-profit group, Andrea and her team came up with a second support group, which they named the Fairy Godmothers Club. Before long, an entire army of volunteers had been recruited, all willing to lend their time to help families in the UAE.
Although it’s a far cry from Andrea’s previous life in the fast lane working as an investment banker in London, she admits there’s nothing quite as satisfying as being there for those who need extra help, as well as raising awareness of postnatal depression. “It’s important to recognise when we need help without being ashamed when we can’t cope alone,” she says. “Be kind to yourself. If you neglect yourself, who will take care of those that you take care of?”