I just saw the fabulous news posted to Postpartum Progress that the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act IS NOW LAW, with passage of Healthcare Reform!!!!!!!!!!!!! This, ladies (and gents), is history in the making!
YES, YOU HEARD RIGHT!!!
As Katherine Stone points out, the following language from the MOTHERS Act was folded last Christmas Eve into the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, which is the very same Senate bill that was passed by the House of Representatives tonight:
“Sec. 2952 Support, education and research for postpartum depression. Provides support services to women suffering from postpartum depression and psychosis and also helps educate mothers and their families about these conditions. Provides support for research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression and psychosis.”
NOTE: This bill does NOT mandate screening or subsidize medication (as the anti-pharma crowd seem to be obsessed with all these years and the primary reasons they have been fighting so hard to stop passage of this legislation).
What this does mean:
1) a decrease in the silent and unnecessary suffering of mothers due to the stigma that comes from ignorance about perinatal mood disorders,
2) more awareness of the need for support services for new mothers,
3) improved tools for early detection and improved methods of treatment, and
4) healthcare practitioners being properly trained to detect and treat perinatal mood disorders (so there are fewer untreated cases, misdiagnoses and mistaking PPD for the blues.
This, ladies (and gents), is why so many of my fellow PPD advocates/bloggers are so excited!
There are many, many people to thank that have worked so hard to make this possible, including all those who signed the petition and made phone calls. But if it weren’t for unwavering commitment of Senator Menendez (D-NJ), the MOTHERS Act would never have come this far. For years, he has championed this effort on behalf of all mothers who have suffered from and will someday suffer from postpartum mood disorders. Visit Susan Stone’s Perinatal Pro blog for more details and more names of those who should also be recognized for their efforts.