A HUSBAND who lost his wife when she stepped in front of a train has a new goal.
He has set up a charity to raise awareness of the condition which made her suicidal.
Fartown man Chris Bingley’s wife Joanne died instantly when she was hit on the tracks near Deighton railway station in April last year.
Chris said Joanne, known as Joe, took her own life because she was suffering from severe postnatal depression following the birth of her baby daughter Emily.
Nearly one year on – and on the anniversary of what would have been Joe’s 40th birthday – Chris has launched the Joanne (Joe) Bingley Memorial Foundation to highlight postnatal depression and support those affected by it.
Chris, 42, said: “My wife was a happy-go-lucky person with everything to live for.
“At the funeral over 500 guests were asking the same question – how could such a wonderful, caring, sensitive and dedicated nursing professional have descended into such a desperate state?”
Chris said Joe had a miscarriage in 2008 and the couple had suffered from fertility problems.
He said they weren’t allowed to adopt because they were both overweight, so it was a “miracle” when Joe eventually became pregnant and they were both overjoyed.
But after giving birth to Emily in February last year Joe had trouble breast-feeding and the baby’s weight dropped dramatically.
Following advice from medical staff Joe switched to bottle feeding but she was still finding it hard to cope.
Chris, who works in financial services, said: “She really blamed herself for not being able to look after Emily and for failing Emily and not being a good mother.
“That was when she became suicidal and completely depressed and she had a psychotic form of postnatal depression – it happens quickly and those suffering need to be treated straight away.”
Chris said within weeks Joe had become heavily depressed and had attempted to kill herself and Emily days before finally walking on to the train tracks where she was hit by a First Transpennine service from Hull to Manchester.
Since Joe’s death Chris has pushed for an in-depth investigation into how her condition was treated by local health services.
He claims an independent report concludes Joe wasn’t given the correct clinical treatment and support for the depression and that if she had been taken into hospital for treatment she could have made a full recovery.
The full details of the report, and a coroner’s verdict of how Joe died, will be heard at an inquest next month.
In the meantime Chris wants to work towards de-stigmatising, educating and stimulating open discussion about postnatal depression and its treatment.
He said: “I was beside myself with grief when Joe died but as part of the healing process – and in recognition of the many years of service my wife had given as a dedicated nursing professional – I decided I had to do something to help other people who might be affected by postnatal illness.”
Postnatal depression (PND) is a type of depression some women experience after they have had a baby.
It usually develops in the first four to six weeks after childbirth, although in some cases it may not develop for several months.
There is often no reason for the depression. There are many symptoms of PND, such as low mood, feeling unable to cope and difficulty sleeping, but many women are not aware that they have the condition.
It is important for partners, family, friends and healthcare professionals to recognise the signs of PND as early as possible so that appropriate treatment can be given.
PND affects about one in 10 mothers in the UK.
If you feel depressed most of the time and the feelings do not go away, you may have PND.
Your GP will be able to determine whether you have the condition and suggest an appropriate course of treatment.