Elaine A Hanzak B.Ed (Hons)
Author, Inspirational Speaker and Mental Health Advocate
Elaine wrote ‘Eyes without sparkle - a journey through postnatal illness’ (CRC Press, 2005) to offer hope to those struggling with any form of mental health issue and to challenge the stigma around mental health. It describes her experiences following the birth of her son, her decline into mental illness and her subsequent recovery. Formally a teacher for children with special needs, she has dedicated her life to perinatal mental health.
Elaine speaks internationally including, among others, European Parliament, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Global Summit and the Marcé Society conference in Sydney. She has also been on television programmes such as BBC Breakfast and BBC World Service and is often in local and national media.
Elaine has been invited to speak to a wide range of corporate audiences, health professionals and students who learn from her experiences. Having to overcome a close bereavement in 2011 has added to her inspirational messages about life and resilience.
Elaine’s second book - ‘Another Twinkle in the Eye’ (CRC Press, 2015) is a guide for parents who are considering another baby after a previous perinatal mental illness and ideas for how healthcare professionals can support them. It was shortlisted by the British Medical Association for their Popular Medicine Book of the Year for ‘outstanding contribution to medical literature’. Testimonials report that her first book continues to save lives and her second is helping to create new lives.
Her overall message is positive and of hope for anyone facing, or affected by, mental health challenges. She aims to inspire people to make a difference in their own and the lives of others so that more eyes can regain their sparkle and delight in life, as she is doing.