Developing Systemic Solutions to Postpartum Depression

One of two real quickie posts from me today, and I never post 2 at the same time!   Thanks to Twitter, I am in better shape news-wise than before, that’ s for sure! 

Back in August 2010, a bill referred to as “An Act Relative to Postpartum Depression” was passed and went into effect in Massachusetts. Click here for my previous post on this.  Today, there was a Boston Globe article titled “All mothers need to be screened for postpartum depression” posted by Marjorie Pritchard that provides an update on the state’s progress.  Although funding for the heart of the bill–universal screening and public awareness initiatives–has been practically non-existent, progress is being made that includes the state Department of Public Health issuing regulations on best practices and data collection for screening. 

Additionally, the mission of a 34-person Commission chaired by Emily Story (Democratic state representative from Amherst), and made up of health care providers, insurance representatives, survivors, legislators and state agency representatives–among many others–is to come up with best practices in screening/referrals/treatment, public awareness, and education of healthcare professionals.  Basically, the development of systemic solutions to postpartum depression so desperately needed to help women and their families get the help they need when it comes to an illness that strikes so many new mothers.

It’s certainly encouraging to see such progress–albeit slow and steeped with challenges (in the form of funding and the state of the economy and health insurance)–in Massachusetts.  Before the end of this decade, I’d like to see all 50 states working to achieve the same goals with respect to maternal (and family) well-being !

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2 thoughts on “Developing Systemic Solutions to Postpartum Depression

  1. I just went to the professional training offered by Pospartum Support International and they brought up the incredible point that although only 4 or 5 percent of women get Hypertension or Gestational Diabetes, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. is screened for those illnesses. And up to 20-25 percent of women get a PMAD, yet not every one gets screened? What gives? Do you think it’s that providers don’t have solid referral lists, so they’d rather not screen so they don’t find themselves with nowhere to send patients?

    • Hi Melina,
      Thanks so much for reading my post and commenting! I go into all this in great detail in my book, but in short, yes, we’re lacking an adequate referral system for patients screening positive for a PPMD. That’s basically due to inadequate training to healthcare (mental/medical) professionals when it comes to properly detecting (screening) for a PPMD, which means a lack of professionals qualified to treat patients who do screen positive. Professional training and public awareness–those are the 2 fundamental elements so key to making progress and yet so lacking still.

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