October 30, 2014
Pospartum Support International Encourages Early Assessment and Treatment, Rather than Incarceration, for Postpartum Psychiatric Illness
Mother and Child Saved from Drowning in Atlantic City
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ October 30, 2014 - The members of Postpartum Support International (PSI) are deeply saddened by the story of Patricia Shurig, 24, who is accused of throwing her six-week-old daughter into the water in Atlantic City, then jumping in herself. “We do not know the circumstances of this particular case, and do not offer diagnosis for individuals we do not know, but preliminary reports indicate that the mother may have been experiencing postpartum depression, or perhaps even postpartum psychosis,” said Wendy Davis, Ph.D. and Executive Director of Postpartum Support International (PSI), the leading organization dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood disorders.
Family members say that Patricia Shurig has been very depressed since she gave birth over a month ago. The baby’s father reported that Patricia had been experiencing stress and perhaps had bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is one of the risk factors for postpartum psychosis, a rare and more severe perinatal mood disorder. Women experiencing postpartum psychosis have a break with reality, and in rare cases may commit crimes including suicide and infanticide. “The public needs to understand that these illnesses are treatable. With help most women will make a complete recovery,” said Sharon Gerdes, Media and Public Relations Chair for PSI, herself a postpartum psychosis survivor.
Shurig has been charged with aggravated assault. Maternal mental health distress is often unrecognized, ignored or inadequately treated. PSI would like the focus to shift from prosecution to prevention of these incidents through education, early diagnosis and treatment. PSI is also working to develop more legal resources to assist women who may be charged with crimes committed during a perinatal mood crisis. An online class, featuring George Parnham and Margaret Spinelli, will be held Nov 21 through www.lawline.com.
PSI has more than 200 Coordinators around the world who provide support, encouragement, and information about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. “Women should know that PSI offers free phone support and connection to local resources, where available, to women throughout the state of New Jersey,” said Alexis Menken, PSI Coordinator for New Jersey. “PSI stands ready to assist not only the new mother, but family members, who should feel free to call PSI if they have any question about the well-being of a new mom. PSI also offers free call-in chat groups for both moms and dads,” added Menken.
PSI endeavors to prevent postpartum psychiatric illness and the risk of tragic results that may occur as a result. We would like to thank the heroes who jumped into the Atlantic to assist this mother and baby.
The PSI warmline is available every day in English and Spanish, 1-800-944-4773 (4PPD). Resources and information about postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis can be found on their website: www.postpartum.net. The State of New Jersey also has a 24/7 hotline for postpartum depression, 1-800-328-3838.
September 4, 2014: Postpartum Support International
Use of Antidepressants During Pregnancy Should be Determined by Risk vs. Benefit, Not Media Scare
Recent New York Times article generates fury of protest from clinicians
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y., September 4, 2014 - A recent article in the New York Times about the use of antidepressants by pregnant women resulted in a fury of protest from clinicians. “The article is likely to foster unnecessary fear among women who struggle with mood disorders who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. The implication that women idly choose to start or to remain on antidepressants such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), or any other medication during pregnancy, is insulting and demeaning,” said Ann D. S. Smith, CNM, and President of Postpartum Support International, the leading organization dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood disorders.
Women who, under a healthcare provider’s care, choose to remain on medication do so to counter moderate to severe depression or anxiety symptoms that would otherwise render them functionally impaired. “To equate treatment with an antidepressant to quell the suffering from a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder to the abuse of illicit drugs is an egregious misrepresentation that vilifies women who want nothing more than to feel the excitement of pregnancy and the joy of new motherhood. Medications aren't perfect. Some women may be able to get by with complementary treatments like acupuncture, massage, yoga, and talk therapy alone, but most women who are seriously ill need some form of pharmacology to improve,” said Carly Snyder, MD, Reproductive Psychiatrist, PSI Research Chair.
All medical consultations on every level involve the assessment of risk vs benefit. Mothers, families, and psychiatric prescribers must be prepared to have these conversations free from the bias of outside friends and family, scare media, or old wives tales. "To date, after many studies that have evaluated the safety/risk of antidepressant use in pregnancy, including thousands of women, none of these drugs have been found to substantially increase the risk of any adverse outcomes. Women and their health care providers should not be unduly concerned if a woman requires an antidepressant, as this is no different than being treated for other serious medical conditions during pregnancy that require medications," said Adrienne Einarson, RN, Reproductive Psychiatry Group Founder.
If a woman had diabetes and required insulin to remain healthy and to function, would anyone question her use of insulin in pregnancy? Of course not. "Psychotropics are just like insulin in that they treat a medical condition that is otherwise functionally debilitating, and potentially deadly," added Dr. Snyder. We as a society must stop demonizing women suffering during and after pregnancy, and instead support, nurture, and empathize as women struggle, and hopefully receive the necessary treatment and then get well.
Postpartum Support International has volunteers in all U.S. states and 40 countries. A detailed response to the NYT article may be found on their website, www.postpartum.net. The PSI Warmline is available every day in English and Spanish, 1-800-944-4773 (4PPD).
August 7, 2014
Postpartum Support International Provides Resources Following Passage of New Legislation Mandating Maternal Mental Health Services in New York
PSI is uniquely poised to assist New York in implementation of the new law.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y., August 6, 2014 – Ann Smith, a New Yorker and nurse midwife, lauded the new postpartum depression legislation signed by New York Governor Cuomo this week. The law (S. 7234B / A. 9610B) provides guidelines on maternal depression screening, information on support and referrals, and public education to promote awareness and reduce stigma. “We hope that this much needed bill will ensure that no woman with perinatal mood disorder in New York will be ignored or neglected,” said Smith, MSN, CNM, WHNP, President of Postpartum Support International (PSI). Founded in 1987, PSI is the leading organization dedicated to helping families suffering from perinatal mood disorders, and is uniquely poised to assist New York in developing education materials and resources to fulfill the mandates of the law.
Sonia Murdock, PSI New York Co-Coordinator and Executive Director of the Postpartum Resource Center of New York said, "We are grateful and honored to have met and worked with Senator Krueger to help the Maternal Depression Bill become law.” Similar legislation has been passed in other states, including New Jersey, Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon, and Massachusetts.
According to Smith, mood disorders are the # 1 complication of childbearing. They do not manifest only as depression, but include anxiety, inability to cope, obsessive thoughts, insomnia, difficulty bonding, and in the most severe and rare cases, psychosis which involves hallucinations, delusions and a break from reality. In the worst case scenario of severe depression and psychosis, tragedies can occur including suicide and infanticide. On a positive note mothers who receive proper support, diagnosis and treatment almost always recover completely.
There are good screening tools available such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale. They can be administered in 5 minutes by providers who are not mental health experts. Mothers who screen positive can be provided information and referred for care. The challenge may be in this area, as there is a need for more providers knowledgeable in perinatal mood disorders to help all who need treatment. “PSI has been the leader in training professionals through our onsite and webinar trainings. Thousands of providers have completed our PSI certificate training in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and we look forward to training more to care for pregnant, postpartum, and post-loss women and families,” said Wendy Davis, PhD, Executive Director of PSI. “We are also very grateful to our dedicated volunteers who offer telephone and online help, providing reassurance and links to providers, so moms and families know they are not alone while they connect to the resources they need.”
Postpartum Support International has volunteers in all U.S. states and over 35 countries. Visit www.postpartum.net for resources or call the PSI Warmline, available every day in English and Spanish, 1-800-944-4773 (4PPD).
June 24, 2014
Largest Ever Postpartum Support International Conference Helps Bridge Connections Between Communities, Practitioners and Science
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leads innovative research and treatment for women’s mental health.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C., June 24, 2014 – As people across the nation struggle to understand how a woman in New York City could strap a 10-month-old son to her chest and leap to her death from an eight-floor window, 350 researchers, childbirth professionals, social support providers, mental and public health providers, nurses, primary care physicians, and volunteers gathered in Chapel Hill, N.C., to try to find answers. “This was the 27th annual conference of Postpartum Support International (PSI), with our largest attendance to date,” announced PSI President, Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg, RNC, MS. Postpartum Support International is the leading organization dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood disorders, and helping to educate families, friends and healthcare providers so that moms and moms-to-be can get the support they need and recover.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Creating Connections between Communities, Practitioners, and Science: Innovative Care for Perinatal Mood Disorders,” said Chris Raines, RN MSN APRN-BC, 2014 Conference Program Chair. The conference was unique in that it combined updates on cutting edge research on women’s mental health with personal stories from moms who have experienced various postpartum illnesses. David Rubinow, MD, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, gave the opening keynote presentation, outlining new learnings about the role of hormonal changes and perinatal mood disorders. Deb Wachenheim, sister of Cindy Wachenheim, whose suicide was reported in the New York Times and was also featured in two recent NYT articles, spoke at the Friday conference luncheon and shared insights for family members of women experiencing a perinatal mood crisis.
A highlight of the conference was a tour of the country’s first perinatal inpatient psychiatric unit, where women from across the nation can be treated for severe perinatal mood disorders including postpartum psychosis. “We can treat from three to five women at a time. Babies can visit their moms on the unit, which helps to preserve important mother-baby bonding. A family member, such as the father or grandmother, is always present during the visit to ensure the safety of the infant,” said Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH. The unit is designed and equipped to meet the unique needs of new moms with items including a breast pump. Dr. Meltzer-Brody also spoke on pharmacologic treatment of perinatal psychiatric illness.
Anna Brandon, PhD, ABPP, conference co-chair reported that various sessions addressed ways to treat special populations. A very popular session shared that text messaging is a feasible and welcomed method of communication among under-served mothers suffering from postpartum depression. Marguerite Morgan, LMSW, PhD, Clinical Supervisor of Arbor Circle Early Childhood Services in Grand Rapids, Mich. shared ways to reach African American childbearing women, by respecting their culture and gaining their trust, and explained that similar strategies are important for Hispanic women and other minority populations. Joy Burkhard of the 2020 Mom Project campaign highlighted barriers to screening and treatment, and strategies to overcome those barriers through training.
The Friday night banquet featured Katherine Stone, creator of Postpartum Progress, the world’s leading blog on postpartum depression as Emcee. Susan Benjamin Feingold, PsyD, author of “Happy Endings, New Beginnings: Navigating Postpartum Disorders,” shared thoughts on turning mental health challenges into opportunities for personal growth and service. A highlight of the evening was a sneak preview of the trailer of the feature length documentary, “Dark Side of the Full Moon,” which shares intimate stories of perinatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and the complicity within the medical community to effectively screen, refer, and treat the 1.3 million mothers affected each year in the United States.
Ann Smith, CNM, incoming PSI President, PSI Support Coordinator in New York City, and postpartum depression survivor, announced that next year’s conference will be held in Plymouth, Mich., June 24-27. “PSI brings together all the stakeholders, including service providers and moms who have experienced perinatal mood disorders. Many of these women and their family members go on to receive additional education and training, so that they can help other moms and families to prevent the pain that they experienced. Training is key to providing effective support. We look forward to making next year’s conference even better.”
About Postpartum Support International
Postpartum Support International is dedicated to helping women and families suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression, the most common complication of childbirth. PSI has volunteer coordinators in all 50 states and over 35 countries. Visit their website: www.postpartum.net to locate resources in your area. PSI Support Warmline is available every day, in English and Spanish, 1-800-944-4773 (4PPD).
Wendy Davis, PhD
Chris Raines, RN MSN APRN-BC
Jennifer Gibson, UNC Psychiatry
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lianne Swanson
Postpartum Support International
POSTPARTUM SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL URGES MOMS AROUND THE WORLD TO REACH OUT TO SAFETY NET
PSI joins with worldwide advocates for prevention through education, early diagnosis and treatment of maternal mental health distress
(October 4, 2013) - According to Postpartum Support International (PSI), at least 20% of pregnant and new mothers will experience a maternal mental health disorder, yet most are never screened, diagnosed or treated.
"Women, families, and health care providers need to know that pregnancy and postpartum mental health distress and disorders are common, real, and treatable. We can prevent escalation and crisis with access to qualified treatment and support," said Wendy Davis, PhD, Executive Director of Postpartum Support International. “We want women and their families to know that they are not alone, they are not to blame, and with help, they will be well. Most importantly we don’t want women to be frightened and isolated; we will help them find reliable resources.”
Less than half a percent of new mothers will suffer from a psychosis, in which there is a severe break in reality. Up to 5% of mothers suffering from postpartum psychosis will commit suicide. "A woman with postpartum psychosis loses touch with reality," said Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, LMFT a forensic expert in maternal mental health and member of PSI's President's Advisory Council. "She may also have false beliefs that she and/or her baby are in harm's way," she said. PSI works alongside other advocates to train professionals and social supporters, increasing the number of qualified resources around the world.
Postpartum Support International is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to educating professionals and connecting with families suffering from pregnancy and postpartum distress and mental health disorders. The organization offers support, reliable information, professional training and volunteer coordinators in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, and more than 35 other countries. For resources and support visit www.postpartum.net or call 800-944-4PPD (4773).
August 13, 2013
The 2020 Mom Project launches on-line course in maternal mental health to help more mothers find treatment for postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders
Nearly three weeks after the birth of Prince George, the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and Postpartum Support International remind new families that many moms will experience postpartum distress. If symptoms persist for longer than two weeks, many will need the help of an experienced maternal mental health specialist.
How is Kate Middleton doing?
On the outside, Kate Middleton is “glowing,” with the joy and happiness that many assume all new mothers experience. Yet, since many mothers suffer in silence, you can’t assume that Kate is doing fine. Up to 80% of new mothers experience the “baby blues.” The blues is defined as mild mood swings, brief bouts of crying, and worry. They typically start in the first few days following birth, and dissipate without treatment in a few weeks.
Baby Blues vs. Postpartum Depression
People often confuse the milder baby blues with postpartum depression (PPD) because the symptoms can be the same. However, those who experience symptoms of the blues or other distress for more than two or three weeks are likely experiencing depression or anxiety. These women would benefit from specialized professional support. According to the World Health Organization postpartum depression is the most common complication of pregnancy.
"Mothers who are suffering from depression or anxiety are often confused by what they are feeling, as they are exhausted, adjusting to life with a new baby, healing and experiencing dramatic changes in hormones," said Wendy Davis, Executive Director of Postpartum Support International (PSI). "To make matters worse, many families are not informed of the signs and symptoms of the blues or other more serious forms of maternal distress, so it's easy to get confused and chalk these feelings up to the adjustment of new motherhood. Most mothers don't seek help until symptoms have become more severe and they have extreme difficulty coping with daily life.”
Princess Diana and Dads
Those with a personal history of depression/mood concerns, or depression in their family of origin are more likely to experience difficulty. In a 1995 interview conducted by the BBC, Princess Diana revealed that she suffered from postpartum depression after Prince William was born. "We want families to know that while we most often talk about postpartum distress among mothers, fathers can also experience distress during this time, including depression and anxiety and a worsening of any pre-existing mental health trouble," said Pec Indman, co-author of “Beyond the Blues” and representative of PSI and the Collaborative. Poor sleep, increased financial responsibility, household stress, and having a partner with a mood or anxiety disorder can contribute to poor mental health in dads. Studies have shown about 10% of fathers experience moderate to severe depression (Paulson, 2010). While no one knows if Prince William is struggling, families need to know dads can suffer too and that they also should seek help.
More Experts are Needed
"Though we urge new families to speak up and seek help, often if they do, they find their doctor or other health care professionals though well intended don't seem to acknowledge or understand what they are feeling," said Joy Burkhard, Founder and Director of the CA Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and the 2020 Mom Project. "We must change that dynamic.” It's through the 2020 Mom Project, a national campaign to improve awareness and availability of support for maternal mental health disorders, that the Collaborative and PSI are launching a new online course for mental health and other medical professionals through the 2020 Mom Project, so that more professionals can be trained and provide the support mothers so desperately need.
For more information visit
About the 2020 Mom Project and the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative
The 2020 Mom Project is a national campaign of the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative (“The Collaborative”). The Collaborative is a non-profit organization and formed at the urging of the California legislature through Assembly Concurrent Resolution 105, in 2011. The Collaborative is volunteer run and brings together private and public stakeholders including medical and mental health professionals, educators, community advocates and individuals who have experienced these disorders to raise awareness of maternal mental health disorders and provide a platform for change so suffering families can receive the help they need.
About Postpartum Support International
Postpartum Support International is dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression. Postpartum Support International works to educate and support family, friends and healthcare providers so that pregnant and postpartum women and their families get the support they need to recover.
November 19, 2012
An Open Letter to the Maternal Mental Health Community and the Media about Article concerning antidepressants during pregnancy:
Response to article by Domar, Moragianni, Ryley and Urato, The risks of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use in infertile women: a review of the impact on fertility, pregnancy, neonatal health and beyond, Hum. Reprod. Advance Access, October 31, 2012
Download Full Letter (PDF)
To read a full discussion of Domar article compiled by PSI, click this LINK
Postpartum Support International (PSI), the organization dedicated to bringing awareness to women’s reproductive mental health, along with numerous other well-respected regional and local mental health agencies as well as esteemed medical and psychiatric professionals working in the field of Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMADS), have come together in an effort to help broaden awareness and reduce stigma. They strongly disagree with what they collectively feel was an opinion-based story that ran last week in USA Today, US News & World Report, on CBS News and in Psych Central along with many other media outlets, highlighting the findings of a recent review article published in a prominent medical journal.
The article, authored by Domar, Moragianni, Ryley and Urato, in the journal of Human Reproduction, October 2012 -- The risks of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use in infertile women: a review of the impact on fertility, pregnancy, neonatal health and beyond, concluded that “Antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with increased risks of miscarriage, birth defects, preterm birth, newborn behavioral syndrome, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn and possible longer term neurobehavioral effects. There is no evidence of improved pregnancy outcomes with antidepressant use.”
PSI and its members believe that the article is misleading and over-generalizes the effects of psychotropic medications being used in pregnancy. The general consensus among clinicians is that the article offers a one-sided perspective discounting the valuable and positive medical and psychological benefits these medications can have on women, their children and families when a new mother is in the throes of a Perinatal Mood or Anxiety Disorder. PSI feels the journal article is deceiving to women and their families about what is considered to be a very nuanced and specialized issue, and propagates public fear and stigma, which PSI and others in the reproductive community are working hard to de-mystify and eliminate.
“For women with mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy and alternative treatments are absolutely the first choice of treatment. However, for those women experiencing moderate to severe depression that is considerably impairing their functioning, antidepressants must be an option as they do alleviate symptoms in this population and they can save lives,” said Dr. Lucy J. Puryear, M.D., Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine and Medical Director, The Women's Place: Center for Reproductive Psychiatry and Immediate Past President, Postpartum Support International. “Our challenge is to continue to look for the safest and most effective ways to manage patient care during this vulnerable time -- from conception through pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.”
“While Postpartum Support International supports colleagues and researchers working in the field of maternal mental health and perinatal psychiatry, we are disheartened that the article in USA Today was written based on clinical opinions as it was not substantiated by a published research study, nor were the authors specialists in the risks and benefits of medication use during the perinatal phase. It’s our experience that articles like this impact women and their families by creating tremendous anxiety about treatment options, therefore leaving these women at risk for abruptly discontinuing medication or not seeking the care they may need,” said Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg, RNC, MS, Director, Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorder Program at Alexian Brothers Hospital Network in Illinois and President, Postpartum Support International.
“At PSI, we weigh the integrity of all research and literature with respect to various points of view in order to achieve best practices and standards of care in the field; we always look forward to the publication of further research that can educate and inform the public about perinatal mood disorders,” concluded Stoutenburg.
Untreated depression is the number one complication of pregnancy and yet research shows many new mothers are not asked whether they are feeling depressed or anxious during their pregnancy by a health care provider. It’s PSI’s belief that when a woman is able to become adequately informed, screened or treated for maternal depression, not only is her individual suffering alleviated but the chances for positive outcomes for her baby, and entire family are greatly improved.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping women suffering from Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders, including postpartum depression, the most common complication of childbirth. Founded in 1987 by Jane Honikman, MS, PSI was established to increase awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional difficulties that women can experience during and after pregnancy. The organization offers support, reliable information, best practice training, and volunteer coordinators in all 50 U.S. states as well as 26 countries around the world. Working together with volunteers, caring professionals, researchers, legislators and others, PSI is committed to eliminating stigma and ensuring that compassionate and quality care is available to all families.
PSI and its members continue to hope that a national spotlight may shine on this issue to help highlight the need for better care in the field of women’s reproductive health.
Lucy Puryear, MD
Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine and Medical Director, The Women's Place: Center for Reproductive Psychiatry, Houston TX, PSI Immediate Past President
Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg, RNC, MS
PSI President, Manager of Pregnancy & Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder Program, St. Alexius Medical Center & Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, Hoffman Estates IL,
Vivien Burt, MD
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Director of The Women's Life Center at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA
Benita Dieperink, MD
Co-Director, Hennepin Women's Mental Health Program, Department of Psychiatry, Hennepin County Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School
Jeanne Watson Driscoll PhD, RN, PC
Private Practice: Mica Collaborative, Wellesley, MA, Member of PSI President's Advisory Council
Emily C. Dossett, MD
Director, Maternal Wellness Center, Los Angeles County, University of Southern California Medical Center
Los Angeles CA
Adrienne Einarson, RN
The Motherisk Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
Shari I. Lusskin, MD
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York NY
Laura Miller, MD
Director, Women’s Mental Health Division, Brigham Women's Mental Health Division, Boston MA
Yvonne Moore, MD, MA, FACOG
Board Certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist, PSI Board Member, Memphis TN
Jane Gregory Payne, MD
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Co-Director, Perinatal Mental Health Program Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland OR
Merrill Sparago, MD
Reproductive Psychiatry, Former Research Chair Postpartum Support International, Private Practice Los Angeles, CA
Meg Spinelli, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Director of the Maternal Mental Health Program, Adjunct Assoc. Prof. of Clinical Psychiatry, Cornell Weill University Medical College, New York NY
Kathleen West, MPH, DrPH
Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine Research and Policy Analyst, Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA
For more information contact 1-800-944-4PPD or www.postpartum.net
# # #
POSTPARTUM SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL
NATIONAL MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
“Speak Up When You’re Down” Campaign
National Awareness Campaign
Increasing Support for Pregnant and Postpartum Women and Families
(May 8, 2012--Portland, Oregon)—“As we get ready for Mother’s Day, Postpartum Support International has launched the “Speak Up When You’re Down” campaign as the focus of National Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, reminding women and their families that there is a worldwide network of resources to help them if they’re having a difficult time during or after pregnancy. Momentum has been building as an increasing number of local and regional communities have implemented educational campaigns and treatment programs to increase awareness and reduce stigma associated with Maternal Mental Health,” said Dr. Lucy Puryear, president, Postpartum Support International.
Untreated depression is the number one complication of pregnancy, yet research shows that most new mothers are not asked about feeling depressed or anxious by their health care provider. When a woman is able to become adequately informed, screened or treated for maternal depression, not only is her individual suffering alleviated but the chances for positive outcomes for her baby and entire family is greatly improved.
“We are pleased to support so many organizations around the world that have worked tirelessly to promote maternal mental health at the regional and local level,” said Puryear. “They have all helped pave the way so that a spotlight could shine on this issue, and have served as invaluable partners in highlighting the need for better care in the field of women’s reproductive health and in bringing this often misunderstood issue to a wider audience. We are especially pleased to announce the addition of our new Spanish language educational DVD, a short film providing families and providers an encouraging message of hope and resources for support and treatment.”
The programs of Postpartum Support International (PSI) provide education, training and research for clinicians, volunteers, and other professionals working with pregnant and postpartum women as well as support resources for women and their families throughout the U.S. and abroad. For more information and contact with local resources, call 1-800-944-4PPD (1-800-944-4773) or visit www.postpartum.net.
# # #
Contact: Lianne Swanson, Postpartum Support International
503-894-9453 | firstname.lastname@example.org
January 5, 2012
PSI Unveils new Spanish DVD
Over 30% of Latinas in the U.S. and Mexico Suffer Perinatal Depression
Postpartum Support International Unveils New Spanish Language Educational DVD
"MADRE SALUDABLE, FAMILIA FELIZ"
Offered to Hospitals & Healthcare Agencies Nationwide As Part of Clinical Training & Education Program Helping Alleviate the #1 Complication of Child Birth: Untreated Depression
PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Postpartum Support International (PSI), the world renowned organization dedicated to bringing awareness to women's reproductive mental health and removing the stigma associated with Perinatal Depression, is unveiling their all-new Spanish language educational DVD, "Madre Saludable, Familia Feliz," distributing it to Hospitals & Healthcare Agencies nationwide in an effort to help inform Latina women suffering from Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMAD's).
Intended to provide pregnant and postpartum women, their families, and their health care providers further insight into the psychological and physiological effects of Perintal Mood & Anxiety Disorders, the DVD's English counterpart "Healthy Mom, Happy Families," is being offered to hospitals across the country to be incorporated into their women's education and childbirth support programs.
"The statistics for Latinas suffering from mental illness related to childbirth and untreated depression continue to climb; and, depression continues to be the number one complication of pregnancy. We know many of these new mothers are not asked about feeling depressed or anxious during their pregnancy by a health care provider," said Dr. Lucy Puryear, president, Postpartum Support International. "Our hope is to reach as many families and clinicians working in support of mothers and babies in this very important segment of our population."
"PSI's goal is to heighten awareness among families and health care providers, reduce stigma, and strengthen the ability to assess and treat these very real and devastating illnesses," continued Dr. Puryear. "By offering an educational tool useful across cultural healthcare platforms, our hope is that Spanish-speaking women who are pregnant and postpartum will feel encouraged to reach out and will have access to appropriate treatment. When a woman is able to become adequately informed, screened or treated for maternal depression, not only is her individual suffering alleviated but the chances for positive outcomes for her baby and entire family are greatly improved."
In one 2009 study which investigated the prevalence of depressive symptoms and their associated risk factors during pregnancy in Latinas in the United States and Mexico, prevalence of depressive symptoms was 32.4% for pregnant Latinas and 36.8% for Mexicans. * Another study done in 2005 found that Hispanic women have higher rates of depression than non-Hispanic women but are less likely to be identified as depressed. It states that the lifetime prevalence of depression in Hispanics … is 37%, 12% higher than found in the general population. **
"Madre Saludable, Familia Feliz" and "Healthy Mom, Happy Families," serve to help viewers identify risk factors, recognize symptoms of these debilitating illnesses, and gain a more comprehensive understanding of how maternal mood disorders affect a mother and her family. They also offer a review of evidence-based treatments and interventions effective for treating Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMAD's). They feature four women who have suffered from and survived PMAD's. Sharing their experiences, these women offer hope and reassurance to expecting and new parents, their family members and health care professionals. Their poignant stories are complemented by up-to-date information from renowned experts in the field: Postpartum Support International's immediate past president Birdie Meyer, R.N., M.A., Pec Indman, Ed.D., LMFT, and Caroline Little Cribari, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Laura Sirulnik, a New York-based psychiatrist whose practice focuses on the healthcare needs of Hispanic women, is also featured.
"La depression en el embarazo y la que aparece despues del parto, significa un tremendo sufrimiento para la mujer en un momento donde ella misma y la sociedad esperan goce y alegria," said Dr. Sirulnik. "Estos sintomas sorprenden y confunden a la mujer y a la familia, la mujer experimnenta una total incongruencia, donde la depression le aleja de toda posibilidad de gratificacion en su rol de madre."
Dr. Sirulnik believes, "El silencio, el no pedir ayuda perpetua el sufrimiento y el dano a vos misma, al bebe y a tu familia!"
"Madre Saludable, Familia Feliz" and "Healthy Mom, Happy Families" were made possible with proceeds contributed from country music artist Wade Bowen's annual celebrity concert and golf tournament to benefit the programs of Postpartum Support International.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping women suffering from Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder's, including postpartum depression, the most common complication of childbirth. PSI was founded in 1987 to increase awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional difficulties that women can experience during and after pregnancy. The organization offers support, reliable information, best practice training, and volunteer coordinators in all 50 U.S. states as well as 26 countries around the world. Working together with volunteers, caring professionals, researchers, legislators and others, PSI is committed to eliminating stigma and ensuring that compassionate and quality care is available to all families. PSI's website can be found at www.postpartum.net. Click here to view a preview of the DVD.
* Lara, M.A., Le, H-N., Letechipia, G. and Hochhausen, L. (2009). Prenatal depression in latinas in the U.S. and Mexico. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 13(4), p. 388–404.
** Chaudron, L. H., Kitzman, H. J., Peifer, K. L., Morrow, S., Perez, L. M., & Newman, M. C. (2005). Self-recognition of and provider response to maternal depressive symptoms in low-income Hispanic women. Journal of Women's Health, 14(4), 331-338.
Artwork Available Upon Request
English translation of Dr. Sirulnik quote:
"Depression in pregnancy and that which appears after (partum), is shown by tremendous suffering for the woman in the moment when both she and society expect enjoyment and happiness," said Dr. Sirulnik. "These symptoms surprise and confuse the woman and her family, the woman experiences a total incongruence, where the depression removes all possibility of gratification in her role as mother."
Continues Dr. Sirulnik, "Silence, not asking for help, perpetuates the suffering and the damage to yourself, the baby, and your family."
SOURCE Postpartum Support International
CONTACT: Cathy Dore, Postpartum Support International, +1-818-207-0426, PSIpr@postpartum.net
August 24, 2011
PSI Responds to Postpartum Tragedy
“We are always deeply saddened by the anguish and suffering a family endures when a woman is afflicted with a Perinatal Mood Disorder. Postpartum Support International is dedicated to raising awareness for the assessment and treatment of these mental illnesses by providing social support, education and access to qualified professionals in the field.” said Dr. Lucy Puryear, M.D., president of Postpartum Support International. “Our hearts and prayers are with Noe Medina, Sonia Hermosillo and their two other children as well as their community as they begin to cope with this heartbreaking tragedy.”
Media Inquiries: Cathy Dore, email@example.com
May 11, 2011
POSTPARTUM SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL
DECLARES MONTH OF MAY
NATIONAL MATERNAL DEPRESSION AWARENESS MONTH
Advocates For, Prevention through Education, and Early Diagnosis & Treatment of Maternal Depression
States Calling Women to “Speak Up When You’re Down!”
(May 11, 2011) -- “On the heels of this Mother’s Day, and in an effort to broaden awareness among women, their families and health care providers, Postpartum Support International is declaring May National Maternal Depression Awareness Month, specifically asking women and their families to encourage concerned mothers to ‘Speak Up When You’re Down’. Momentum has been building across the country as more and more states, including California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington have implemented critical educational campaigns and treatment programs to increase awareness and reduce stigma associated with Perinatal Depression,” said Dr. Lucy Puryear, president, Postpartum Support International.
Dr. Puryear continued, “My hope is that by declaring it National Maternal Depression Awareness Month, we will see more women and their families across the country having the courage to speak up and ask questions about risk factors and triggers, and receive the care they may need during the most transformative period of their lives.”
Untreated depression is the number one complication of pregnancy and yet research shows that many new mothers are not asked about feeling depressed or anxious during their pregnancy by a health care provider. When a woman is able to become adequately informed, screened or treated for maternal depression, not only is her individual suffering alleviated but the chances for positive outcomes for her baby, and entire family is greatly improved.
“We are pleased to support so many local organizations across the country that have worked tirelessly to promote maternal depression at the regional and state level,” said Puryear. “They have all helped pave the way so that a national spotlight could shine on this issue, and have served as invaluable partners in highlighting the need for better care in the field of women’s reproductive health and in bringing this often misunderstood issue to a wider audience."
The programs of Postpartum Support International (PSI) provide education, training and research for clinicians and other professionals working in the field of pregnancy as well as support resources for women and their families throughout the U.S. and abroad. For more information contact 1-800-944-4PPD or www.postpartum.net.
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Contact: Cathy Doré, Postpartum Support International
818.887.1312 ext. 2 or 818.207.0426
JAN 11, 2011
PSI BRIGHT LIGHTS WINTER GALA AND TRAININGS IN LOS ANGELES
CARNIE WILSON TO SPEAK AT POSTPARTUM SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL GALA
POSTPARTUM SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL BRIGHT LIGHTS WINTER GALA CELEBRATION
Saturday, January 15, 2011 • 7:00 p.m.
Millenium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles
Singer Songwriter Carnie Wilson Advocates For Early Diagnosis & Treatment of Postpartum Depression
Acclaimed PSI Trainings To Be Held January 14 & January 16
Postpartum Support International (PSI), the world renowned organization dedicated to bringing awareness to women’s reproductive mental health will have their 2011 Bright Lights Winter Gala Celebration in Los Angeles this year at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Saturday, January 15th at 7p.m.
Singer songwriter Carnie Wilson, who suffered a serious case of postpartum depression with anxiety, the most common type of Perinatal Mood Disorder and the most common complication of childbirth, has spoken publicly before about her bout with the illness, however, this time she is advocating that mandatory screenings be implemented at hospitals in order to better assess women at risk.
“In the past, I have been open about surviving postpartum depression,” says Carnie. “When Los Angeles County launched the ‘Speak Up When You’re Down’ Campaign last spring, I realized that I needed to speak up even more to lift the veil of stigma about this terrible illness so I’m making a plea to the medical community in Los Angeles to start recognizing this as a legitimate illness that must be screened for and treated just like gestational diabetes or Down syndrome as it affects every pregnant mom, her baby and her family. The chemistry in my uterus caused contractions making them real so why is the chemistry in my brain not regarded the same way?”
“When public figures like Carnie are brave enough to speak out about their own struggles with Perinatal Mood Disorders it gives courage and hope to millions of women,” said Dr. Lucy Puryear, president, Postpartum Support International. “Postpartum Support International is honored to have her here tonight to highlight the importance of women getting the care they need during the most transformative period of their lives.”
“Untreated depression is the number one complication of pregnancy and yet research shows that 47% of new mothers in Los Angeles are not asked about feeling depressed or anxious during their pregnancy by a health care provider,” says Dr. Caron Post, clinical psychologist and Director of the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force. “It is through the invaluable support of those at LA Best Babies Network , the Department of Public Health and the LA County Public Defenders Office that we have been able to forge collaborative relationships with over thirty other entities with our common goal of raising awareness and removing the stigma associated with perinatal depression while providing clinical training for professionals who work with pregnant and postpartum women and their children. When a woman is able to receive informed help and support for maternal depression, not only is her individual suffering alleviated but the chances for positive outcomes for her baby, developing child and entire family are greatly improved."
The PSI Gala will also include a brief program featuring LA Best Babies Network (LABBN), an organization dedicated to achieving healthy pregnancies and births in Los Angeles County by providing the infrastructure, programs, advocacy and support to increase the capacity of community partners to succeed in these efforts.
“LA Best Babies Network is delighted that Postpartum Support International has come to Los Angeles to show support for our efforts in L.A. County,” said Janice French, Director of Programs, LA Best Babies Network.
“We look forward to the upcoming PSI Trainings and the opportunity to enhance the skills of our Best Babies Collaboratives’ case managers so that we may continue to make it possible for women (and their families) throughout Los Angeles to receive the vital treatment necessary to alleviate these debilitating illnesses.”
In addition to the Saturday evening festivities, PSI will be offering two of their acclaimed training seminars for Los Angeles-based clinicians and others interested in gaining more knowledge in assessment, diagnosis and the treatment of Perinatal Mood Disorders. The Best Practices Training for Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care -- Diagnosis & Treatment Seminar will be held Friday, January 14th from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and The Best Practices Training for Perinatal Mood Disorders: Reproductive Psychiatry Seminar is Sunday, January 16th from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The most highly regarded names in the field will be leading the PSI trainings. On Friday, The Components of Care program will be run by Dr. Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D., LMFT, and Birdie Meyer, R.N., M.A., both past presidents of PSI and internationally certified trainers and educators for Perinatal Mood Disorders.
On Sunday, The Reproductive Psychiatry program will have UCLA’s Dr. Vivian Burt, M.D., Adrienne Einarson, R.N. and current PSI President Dr. Lucy Puryear, M.D.
Those interested in attending the PSI’s Bright Lights Winter Gala Celebration or The Best Practices Trainings for Perinatal Mood Disorders may do so via www.postpartum.net.
The programs of Postpartum Support International (PSI) provide education, training and research for clinicians and other professionals working in the field of pregnancy as well as support resources for women and their families throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Contact: Cathy Doré, Postpartum Support International
818.887.1312 ext. 2 or 818.207.0426
May 10, 2010
A MOTHER’S DAY CELEBRATION FOR NEW MOTHERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
SEN. MENENDEZ, BROOKE SHIELDS, MARY JO CODEY:
ADVOCATES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION CELEBRATE MAJOR VICTORY
Support services for Postpartum Depression are law
MOTHERS Act is part of Health Insurance Reform – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Ridgewood, New Jersey - U. S. Senator Robert Menendez and renowned advocates, actress Brooke Shields and former New Jersey First Lady Mary Jo Codey will stand with dozens of mothers and postpartum depression advocates to celebrate a major victory for women and their families that have been affected by postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a devastating mood disorder which strikes many women during and after pregnancy that affects anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of new mothers.
WHAT: A Mother’s Day Celebration for the MOTHERS Act; postpartum legislation included in the
Health Insurance Reform law
WHO: U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ); Brooke Shields; Former New Jersey First Lady Mary Jo Codey; Chairperson President’s Advisory Council, Postpartum Support Int’l Susan Stone; Author of "A Daughter’s Touch” Sylvia Lasalandra
WHEN: Monday May 10, 2010; 11:00 AM
WHERE: Ridgewood Women’s Club
215 West Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood, New Jersey, 07450
Parking is available at the West Side Presbyterian Church located across the street.
APRIL 19, 2010
"CELEBRATING MOTHERHOOD AFTER 40" CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES
Moms Speak Out At First Midlife Mother’s Day 2010 Tribute
In the first bid to dispel negative stereotypes of later life motherhood, Flower Power Mom (FPM)—the new website for women having children after 40—is launching “Celebrating Midlife Mother’s Day” from 19th April to Mother’s Day 2010. The three-week campaign was inspired by what FPM calls “a mother of an evolution” taking place around the world. In more countries, the number of older women having children is steadily climbing. Read More
Go to FPM Campaign Info Page.
Buy Original “Celebrating Motherhood After 40” Tribute Shirts.
Go to Press Room. (For additional news, fact sheet, quotes.)
NASHVILLE, TN – April 2, 2010
The “12th ANNUAL BOWEN CLASSIC” celebrity golf tournament & concert brought to you by Rocker B Land & Cattle Company & Caprock Specialty Contractors is set for May 2 – 3 in Waco, TX
Randy Rogers, Stoney LaRue, Brandon Rhyder, Kyle Park, Kristen Kelly & The Modern Day Drifters, The Gordon Collier Band and more are set to join Bowen for his annual charity event.
NASHVILLE, TN – April 2, 2010 – Wade Bowen returns to host his “12th Annual Bowen Classic” concert and celebrity golf tournament to benefit Postpartum Support International (PSI) on May 2-3 in Waco, TX.
The all-star concert kicks off the two-day event at Hog Creek Icehouse at 3:00pm on May 2nd featuring Bowen and friends, including Randy Rogers, Stoney LaRue, Brandon Rhyder, Kyle Park, Kristen Kelly & The Modern Day Drifters and The Gordon Collier Band with more guest announcements in the upcoming weeks. The golf tournament on Monday, May 3rd will be a two-man scramble taking place at the beautiful Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco.
“This annual event and the money we raise is a testament to the great people of Waco and the surrounding areas,” said Bowen. “We are continuing our relationship with PSI, which hits really close to home for me because my wife battled postpartum depression after the birth of our first child, and I know how severely it can affect families. Believe me when I tell you that it is a cause that needs more awareness.”
Tickets for both portions of the event are available at www.wadebowen.com/classic Concert tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Last year’s “Bowen Classic” raised over $86,000 for PSI.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing. PSI works tirelessly to support, educate, research and advocate for women who experience emotional changes and mental illness during pregnancy and postpartum. For more information on PSI and postpartum depression please visit www.postpartum.net.
Purchase concert tickets @ www.frontgatetickets.com or any Front Gate Tickets outlet. www.frontgatetickets.com/support/outlet
For additional information, visit www.wadebowen.com/classic.
Santa Barbara, CA, February 4, 2010
POSTPARTUM SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS IN UNPRECEDENTED PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO ADDRESS RISING U.S. INFANT MORTALITY RATE
First-Ever Free Mobile Health Service Text4baby Provides Health Tips to Pregnant Women, New Moms
Santa Barbara, CA, February 4, 2010 – Today, Postpartum Support International announced that it is an outreach partner of text4baby –a new free mobile information service providing timely health information to pregnant women and new moms from pregnancy through a baby’s first year.
Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish) receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. These messages focus on a variety of topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health and safe sleep. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and other resources.
An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby delivers timely health tips via text message to those who need it most. It is made possible through an unprecedented public-private partnership which includes the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Voxiva, CTIA-The Wireless Foundation, Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company) and founding corporate sponsor Johnson & Johnson. Premier sponsors include WellPoint, Pfizer and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and wireless carriers are distributing text messages at no charge to recipients. Implementation partners include BabyCenter, Danya International, Syniverse Technologies, Keynote Systems and The George Washington University. Download Press release PDF HERE
Postpartum Support International Releases Revealing, Inspiring Film on Postpartum Depression for Childbirth Educators, Healthcare Providers, Hospitals & New Families
Film Features Stories of Mothers Who Survived Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders
January 20, 2010 -- Postpartum Support International (PSI), the largest non-profit organization supporting women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, has produced and launched a compelling new multi-cultural short film on what it’s like for women who go through a postpartum mood or anxiety disorder such as postpartum depression (PPD). With one in eight new mothers experiencing this serious illness, the film was created to expand awareness of risk factors, symptoms and the ability of mothers to recover completely with professional help.
“Healthy Mom, Happy Family: Understanding Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders” features four women sharing their stories – Nicole, Kim, Nina and Denise. All of the women have suffered and recovered from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Through their honesty and openness, these women will help educate and reassure new mothers, their family members and friends, and healthcare professionals that postpartum depression is temporary and treatable. Their poignant stories are complemented by the most current, evidence-based knowledge on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, offered by four experts in the field: PSI President Birdie Gunyon Meyer RN, MA, Pec Indman EdD, MFT, Jane Honikman, founder of PSI, and Caroline Little Cribari MD, PhD. These practitioners share what women and healthcare providers alike need to know for the effective identification and treatment of mental illnesses related to childbirth. “Healthy Mom, Happy Family” has a run-time of 13 minutes. PSI has placed a preview of the short film on YouTube HERE.
To order DVD copies of the film, visit the PSI website here: http://postpartum.net/Resources/PSI-Educational-DVD.aspx
Production of the “Healthy Mom, Happy Family” DVD was made possible by the generous support of alt-country performing artist Wade Bowen, whose wife suffered from postpartum depression. Its distribution is being supported by a generous grant from Jenny's Light, a foundation created in memory of Jennifer Gibbs Bankston and her newborn son Graham Gibbs Bankston. This valuable teamwork makes it possible to reach women and their families with reliable information and hope.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression, the most common complication of childbirth. PSI was founded in 1987 to increase awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional difficulties that women can experience during and after pregnancy. The organization offers support, reliable information, best practice training, and volunteer coordinators in all 50 U.S. states as well as 26 countries around the world. Working together with volunteers, caring professionals, researchers, legislators and others, PSI is committed to eliminating stigma and ensuring that compassionate and quality care is available to all families.
To learn more, call PSI at 800-944-4PPD or visit www.postpartum.net.
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Download Press Release 1/20/10 (PDF)