Unique ID: elainehanzak
Keywords: Perinatal (antenatal & postnatal) mental health expert with lived experience, Overcoming bereavement, Speaker and author, former special needs teacher
Industry sector: Coaching & Training, Education, Healthcare, Human R esources, Medicine, Nursing, Social Care, Teaching
Location: United Kingdom
I speak on mental illness – specifically recovery from postnatal depression and puerperal psychosis from personal experience. I have over 12 years speaking and writing experience and knowledge on the subject now and am a twice-published author. My audiences vary from healthcare professionals to the corporate world, such as banks. I chair events and have also hosted awards. I like to challenge the stigma that can be associated with mental health and also offer ways to help people overcome difficulties in their lives, such as bereavement.
0-3, Birth, Business and Finance, Children, Communication Skills, Death, Death and Dying, Depression, Event Hosts, General Healthcare, Grief and Bereavement, Health and Wellbeing, Healthcare, Healthcare, Human Resources, Inspirational Speakers, Life Balance, Mental Health, Midwifery / Childbirth Support, Motivation / Inspiration, Motivation / Inspiration, Motivation and Teamwork, Motivational Speakers, Nursing, Overcoming Adversity, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Pregnancy, Presentation Skills, Purpose, Stress Management, Suicide, Teaching, Wellness Restoration
Coaching & Training, Education, Healthcare, Human R esources, Medicine, Nursing, Social Care, Teaching
My passions and purpose are both around family and people.
My purpose in life is to enable new parents to have a mentally healthy start to parenthood. I love to inspire and offer hope to anyone who seeks it, who may be suffering due to challenges in their own life. This can be around loss, mental illness or simply a tough time.
My passion is in tackling the stigma that can surround mental illness. It can, and does, affect at least 1 in 4 of us as adults significantly to require treatment.
I also love to encourage people to look for the positives in situations.
My biggest passion and purpose in life is around my son. I want his generation and those that follow to consider mental health with the same parity of esteem as physical health.
I have a B.Ed (Hons) degree for primary education and children with severe learning difficulties.
Press & articles
Please see my website events page here
I am fascinated by all aspects of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.
Spending time with my family and friends is important to me.
On a lighter side I enjoy going to the cinema regularly with my partner – one place to escape!
As a student, I broke into a castle one night, with fellow volunteers on an residential holiday for children with special needs!
My most recent are:
I generally write a blog post following my events – please follow the links to read them.
There are many more examples on my blog from previous years.
My most recent have been:-
Victoria Derbyshire BBC2 February 2017. I was part of a programme about the NHS.
BBC Jersey – television and radio interviews May 2016
Previous television appearances have included BBC Breakfast a number of occasions, This Morning, BBC NW and Sky TV.
‘I was once told by a wise woman at a very hard time in my life that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime and I believe that you fit all three. You touch people to think about mental health and you may stay in their life for a season which will help them through their hard times but I believe you stay in people’s lives for a lifetime for the impact and positivity that you have.’
Tracey, midwife, UK.
My expertise is around perinatal (antenatal and postnatal) mental health and illness. This came initially from experiencing postnatal depression and puerperal psychosis after the birth of my son. I can therefore describe how it feels; how people treat you; what could be done differently and better.
My first book, ‘Eyes without Sparkle – a journey through postnatal illness’ (CRC Press, 2005), was written in the narrative, to simply tell my story. In the late 1990’s, few people spoke out about mental illness and mine was the first autobiographical one on puerperal psychosis. I also included a range of resources I found at the time of publication in 2005.
I have been told by a number of ladies that reading my story made the difference to them of not taking their own life.
I resigned my previous teaching career after my first book was published and I was asked to speak in the media and at events. One question that people often asked me was what to do if they wanted another baby, or were unexpectedly pregnant again, after having suffered a previous mental illness associated with pregnancy and birth.
My second book ‘Another Twinkle in the Eye – contemplating another pregnancy after perinatal mental illness’ (CRC Press 2015) was written using the knowledge and resources I had acquired in this area over the last 12 years. I also had around 100 other families who shared their stories with me upon which to base the support and guidance needed. It is aimed at both parents and healthcare professionals. I am told that their are now babies and new lives on the way because of it!
I was thrilled that my second book was shortlisted for the BMA Popular Medicine Book of the Year 2016 and highly commended for ‘outstanding contribution to medical literature’.
Both my speaking and writing have lead to being runner-up for the British Journal of Midwifery Award 2016 for Contribution to Midwifery Education by a non-midwife.
Light After Darkness E Hanzak. J Fam Health 26 (1), 15-18.
B. Ed (Hons) degree in Primary teaching and special education needs.
Nominated for Cheshire Woman of the Year 2016
Runner-up in British Journal of Midwifery Awards 2017
‘During my illness I read your first book ‘Eyes without Sparkle’ – it inspired my to keep going day by day.’
Debbie, suffering from depression, UK
My eldest daughter has PND and I wanted to say thank you . Your site helped me so much. I am a registered nurse and have some psychotherapy experience but still felt lost as how to support her. I needed some advice and fell onto your site and felt you were talking to me , thank you so much. After reading your advice I feel more confident in how to support and help her.
A grandmother from Australia
Thank you for writing your books – I sat down and read “Eyes without Sparkle” last night and I felt like I couldn’t stop. Such a wonderful message of hope!
Carly, healthcare professional, UK
Perinatal Mental Illness
My biggest desire in life was to become a mother. Sadly I had a traumatic delivery of my son; he was a very sick baby and by the time he was months old I had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital suffering from puerperal psychosis. I self-harmed; my son was put on the ‘at-risk’ register; my teaching career in tatters – I made a full recovery! My shame and guilt of having a mental illness after becoming a mother made me hide it. In doing so I made myself far more ill and potentially suicidal. I share my story to encourage others and offer hope.
Loss of a loved one
After my first book was published in 2005, my personal life changed when I was divorced. I fell in love with a fellow speaker, Clive Gott, who spoke about personal development. We had set up home together and were starting a new chapter together. In February 2011 he died suddenly of a heart attack at home. I gave him CPR to no avail. Once again I had to learn how to heal. I learned how closely related depression and grief are – they are both about loss. My blog during the 12 months after he died has inspired many people.
Perinatal Mental Illness
Having no previous history of mental illness I spiralled into postnatal depression after the birth of my son, later developing puerperal psychosis. My book, ‘Another Twinkle in the Eye – a journey of postnatal illness (CRC Press) describes my story in full and led to me resigning my teaching career to become a speaker.
Loss of a loved one
In 2011, my partner died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 52. Sharing, through my blog, how I rebuilt my life has been able to encourage many others coping with the pain of loss..