PORTLAND, OR, Jan 27, 2016 — The panel report by an independent group of experts appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services called for screening for depression during and after pregnancy. The report is a milestone in maternal mental health. Despite the progress that society has made in recognizing and treating maternal mental health problems, as many as one in seven new mothers still struggles with postpartum depression. Postpartum Support International (PSI), the leading organization dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood disorders, believes that screening is the first step to helping women find support and treatment.
“PSI applauds the USPSTF (US Preventive Services Task Force) for updating and improving their screening recommendations to include pregnancy and postpartum, and supports all efforts to improve the system of care for women and families. We know that the success of screening relies on the ability of the provider to follow up, and refer those at risk for further assessment, support, and treatment. PSI is here to provide direct support to families, train providers, and create a bridge between the two. We are thrilled with these recommendations,” said Wendy Davis, Ph.D., Executive Director of PSI.
Postpartum depression is only one of a range of perinatal mood disorders that can affect women during pregnancy and the year after giving birth. In the past year, PSI held nine trainings around the country to help educate health and mental health providers. Online and local trainings brought evidence-based information and clinical tools to more than 876 providers. Those individuals become part of an improved education, screening, and support team.
Treatment can be expensive, but PSI provides an assortment of support services including local support groups and new online support groups. Many of these services are free to moms, although some ask for donations or charge a modest fee.
“PSI is part of an international task force that created the first World Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day to be held May 4, 2016. We also have a network of local coordinators and state chapters for professionals and volunteers who want to make a difference. It’s all about helping moms,” said Ann Smith, CNM and president of Postpartum Support International.
For more information, visit www.postpartum.net or call 800-944-4PPD.
CONTACT: Sharon Gerdes, PSIpr@postpartum.net, 719-358-9499