Wayne UNC Health Care will sponsor the Climb Out of the Darkness walk Saturday that focuses on raising awareness of pregnancy and postpartum mental health disorders.

The event starts at 9:30 a.m. at Stoney Creek Park, 2200 Ash St.

The walk is part of one of the world's largest events that focuses on raising awareness of health complications following pregnancy.

Women and men who are survivors of postpartum depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis from all over the world will walk, stroll or climb together at a local park or trail. The walk symbolizes their collective rise out of the darkness and raises funds for Postpartum Support International, a nonprofit organization and online community of support resources for women around the world.

Participants in the Goldsboro walk must register online prior to the event, which is sponsored by Wayne UNC Health Care, Wayne Women's Clinic and Goldsboro Pediatrics. Funds raised through the event will support local groups and organizations, provide low-cost training in perinatal mood disorders for providers in underserved areas, train law enforcement and legal experts, mentor peer supporters and group leaders and train primary health care providers in North Carolina.

"Wayne UNC Health Care is committed to providing families in our community with the resources they need both to understand the signs of perinatal mood disorders and treat them," said Susan Campbell, perinatal services director. "No woman or family should have to suffer through this alone."

Shelby Roberts, a volunteer with PSI and organizer of the event now in its second year, said she became involved with Climb Out of the Darkness to raise awareness of PMDs and to "be a light for others."

"When I experienced my perinatal mood disorder, it was like being in a really dark, long tunnel," said Roberts, who is also a military spouse. "The more I talked about it, and the more help I received from other people, the brighter the light became, until I was out of the tunnel."

While many women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, Postpartum Support International estimates that 15 to 20 percent of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Working closely with a primary care physician or specialist can help prevent the worsening of symptoms and result in full recovery.

For more information about the Goldsboro Climb Out of the Darkness event, contact Roberts at 919-749-8704 or shelbyroberts85@hotmail.com. To learn more about Climb Out of the Darkness, visit http://www.postpartum.net/join-us/climbout/.

Postpartum Support International, founded in 1987, is the leading organization dedicated to helping women and families suffering from perinatal depression and anxiety disorders. PSI provides direct peer support to families, trains professionals in perinatal mental health assessment and treatment, and provides a bridge to connect families with those specialists.

PSI has professional and lay members in every state and 49 other countries.