I asked McCain what she thinks mothers can do to help further eliminate the stigma against mental illness. "We need to break the silence and start to share our struggles," she explained. "When no one ever talks about mental illness, we believe we are struggling alone. So many women suffer from various mental illnesses and go through it without any support. We need to change this!"
Postpartum depression alone affects 15 percent of new moms, and the symptoms are so severe that they almost always require treatment. And we're not talking about a simple case of the baby blues, where the symptoms are far less extreme — postpartum depression can mean severe headaches and stomach problems, withdrawal from friends and family, and even thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. Thanks to celebrities like Drew Barrymore bringing the discussion of PPD back into focus, the topic has finally gotten a little more attention; McCain is furthering the battle to put a face on the illness, humanizing it and reminding us that these are regular people, like you and I.
McCain has worked with all kinds of moms who have their own unique and interesting stories; I was curious if there was anyone in particular who stuck out in her mind. "I found myself relating to each of the women in this series in various ways," she said. There was one woman, however, who came to mind. She's not a mother, but her story was important to share. She began experiencing PTSD after being sexually assaulted. "She speaks about self mutilation, which is something that is a huge problem with young girls ... It is heartbreaking to see someone self harming ... and to not know how to help them," said McCain.
This is such an inspirational work of art, and it brings to light something so often kept in the shadows. You don't have to suffer alone. To learn more about The Honest Body Project, you can visit the Facebook page and enjoy more of Natalie McCann's beautiful work and words.