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The Journal’s Exceptional Person of the Week: Miranda Clubb

Published on

Cathy Dobson

It’s not a stretch to say Miranda Clubb is saving lives.

She’s an exceptional public health nurse who really cares about the people she serves and has gone the extra mile to help moms who battle postpartum depression.

“She’s genuine and she pays attention,” says Jessica McMahon, who struggled with her mental health after becoming a mom last year. She found a new support group led by Miranda held weekly at St. Clair Child & Youth. It made all the difference.

“It saved my life and I know other moms who said the same,” said Jessica. “Within 20 minutes of meeting Miranda, I was able to connect with her. I didn’t feel judged. I felt safe.

“No matter what I said, she accepted it. Nothing was too scary for her and that says a lot. We talked about a lot of scary things.”

Miranda has been a public health nurse for 15 years and does wellness calls to new mothers. During the pandemic, she realized many were struggling with isolation and postpartum depression.

At the same time, Hani Dajani who runs the local Family Counselling Centre, became concerned that funding had dried up for a former postpartum program.

It had been four years since one was available to new moms in Sarnia-Lambton, he said.

Hani turned to the Rotary Club of Sarnia for seed money and collaborated with St. Clair Child & Youth to provide a location. Then he approached the Lambton Health Unit to offer training to a team of nurses.

“It was a collaboration,” he said. “But Miranda took the lead. She’s doing a wonderful job.”

He estimates that at any given time, there are 200 new moms in Sarnia-Lambton who need help with postpartum depression.

Health Canada stats suggest that 23% of new mothers suffer from low mood and anxiety disorder.

Without support, new parents can wind up in the emergency department and even risk suicide.

Before taking on the postpartum support program, Miranda completed a certification in perinatal mental health, cognitive behavioural therapy, and advanced perinatal training through Postpartum Support International.

“I was determined to do something about it,” she said. “I saw the need, talking to people every day who needed support, and I knew that therapeutic resources and a support system would be very helpful.”

Twenty years ago, Miranda suffered from postpartum depression herself. She said that’s given her an understanding of the shame that generally goes along with it.

“In my case, I didn’t reach out for help but my family was there for me. Then I decided to go to school and study nursing. That’s really what pulled me out of it.

“I never suggest any coping strategy that I haven’t done myself,” she added. “We talk about what will increase resiliency. That makes a difference. It also helps that the others in the group are on the same journey.”

The eight-week free program has run twice since last June and a third session started this week.

Each time the program runs, Hani has managed to find funding, from the Rotary Club, the provincial government and most recently from the Sarnia Community Foundation.

“It’s a great investment because we are intervening at the earliest possible time,” he said. “I will make sure I find funding every time. It’s that important.”

Miranda said she wants struggling new parents to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I will always advocate for this program,” she said. “I continue to get training for myself, all on my own time, because I like to be able to give women the best information I can.

“That’s just my jam. I kinda get passionate about something and I run with it.”

The current session is free and registrants are still being accepted. To learn more, visit Self-help guides are also available. Call the Family Counselling Centre with questions at 519-336-0120. If you are struggling, contact the Distress Line at 1-888-DISTRES (347-8737).

Do you know someone with an exceptional story? Contact [email protected]

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