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Happy May, Healthy May: Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

Originally posted May 7, 2012.

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May is National Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month.

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Dr. Lucy Puryear, President of Postpartum Support International (PSI), announced in May 2011 that May has been designated as National Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month. An increasing number of states and counties have designated May as a time to bring awareness to maternal mental health.

Wendy Davis, PhD, Postpartum Support International’s Executive Director, says "It fills my heart to see so many communities raising awareness about maternal mental health and perinatal mood disorders. When I had postpartum depression and anxiety, I was already a psychotherapist and still I had no idea that I was depressed! I thought I was not “meant to be a mom,” and I suffered with that misperception. With awareness campaigns, we are bringing the subject of pregnancy, postpartum and post-loss mental health out of the shadows, reducing shame and encouraging people to reach out for help.”

Postpartum Support International (PSI) uses the wonderful slogan,

Speak Up When You’re Down”

originally created by the state of New Jersey to help families speak up and ask the questions they need to ask and get the help they need during this transformative time of life.

In recognition of NMHAM, the insurer Cigna developed the Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Babies® program for their members. This program includes screening for stress and depression during pregnancy, the week following birth and then again three weeks after the birth.

Visit the Postpartum Support International website to find the warmline support phone line number or to get information about perinatal mood disorders.

Wendy Davis, Executive Director of PSI, announced the beginning of NMHAM to the PSI volunteer network last week with some videos posted on the PSI You Tube channel.

Please enjoy the video by Wade Bowen called Turn on the Lights from his album If We Ever Make It Home

This song was written after his wife suffered from postpartum depression and it is about his family’s experiences with the illness. He generously has turned this into a benefit for Postpartum Support International.

You are not alone.

Pick up the phone.

Call the International PSI Toll Free Warmline 1-800-994-4773

Happy, Healthy May and Mother’s Day to all of you!


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