U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has reintroduced the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act to 111th Congress. Given the postpartum depression (PPD) rate in this society–one out of eight mothers–it is ever so critical for this legislation to pass once and for all. There has been much confusion over what this legislation would mean for mothers in this country.
What this legislation WILL do is increase public awareness about and provide funding for much-needed research in this all-too-often misunderstood, underdiagnosed and undertreated illness that not only affects mothers, it affects their partners and babies as well. It will also deliver/enhance outpatient, inpatient and home-based health and support services, including case management and comprehensive treatment services for individuals with or at risk for postpartum conditions. Until all this happens, ignorance about PPD will continue to have a detrimental effect on women and their families. Women with PPD will continue to suffer unnecessarily by thinking they are alone in their experience, and feeling ashamed/unsure of what to do. Doctors will continue to contribute to their suffering from not fully understanding how to recognize and treat PPD.
What the MOTHERS Act is NOT–as misinformed bloggers are suggesting– a government conspiracy to support the pharmaceutical industry by pushing medication on women suffering from PPD.
Let’s all do what we can to make sure the MOTHERS Act passes this time. Contact your Senators and let them know you support this long overdue legislation! Thank you, Senator Menendez, for your efforts and persistence in leading the charge on behalf of mothers in this country! We hope this time there will be less resistance from others like Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) who fail to see why what is being proposed in the MOTHERS Act is so important.
Why would anyone want to prevent passage of legislation that would benefit women and their families? The answer to that question is ignorance. Ignorance, in this case, is causing people to try to shoot down legislation that would benefit women and– let’s not forget–their families as well. Ignorance causes those who have the ability to make a difference in our government to completely miss the mark, with society paying the price. All I can say is “The silent suffering of mothers in this society must come to an end. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. And don’t you forget it.”
Let’s not sit there and wait for this legislation to pass. Take action now and let’s unite in our efforts to educate people around us about PPD. Help prevent/minimize its occurrence among mothers. This means that PPD survivors need to speak up and tell others about their experiences. This means that healthcare professionals should proactively become educated on PPD–for example, by attending Postpartum Support International (PSI) conferences and other local training sessions (see PSI website).
For more information about the MOTHERS Act, visit Susan Dowd Stone’ s blog: http://perinatalpro.com/blog/?p=24.