Bloggers across the country are encouraged to write and call their U.S. senator on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 to push for support of The MOTHERS Act.
The advocacy groups are trying galvanize support for the Moms Opportunity to Access Help, Education, Research and Support for Postpartum Depression Act, which will ensure that new moms and their families are educated about postpartum issues, screened for symptoms and provided with essential services. It will also increase research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression.
Specifically, the MOTHERS Act will help new moms by:
• Providing important education and screening on postpartum depression that can lead to early identification and treatment. The legislation includes two grants to help health care providers educate, identify and treat PPD.
• Expanding important research to improve and discover new treatments, diagnostic tools and educational materials for providers. Since the exact cause of PPD isn’t known, research continues to be the key to unlocking the mystery of this condition.
Postpartum depression is a serious and disabling condition that affects up to 20 percent of new mothers - 800,000 American women each year. Yet only 15 percent of these women will receive any assessment or treatment .Untreated, consequences of maternal mood disorders range from chronic, disabling depression to death. Consequences of untreated maternal depression on infants/children range from behavioral and learning disabilities to depression and death.
“The good news is that perinatal mood disorders are preventable and easily treated once detected. The MOTHERS Act legislation is key because its initiatives are preventive, educational and treatment oriented," said Susan Stone, president of Postpartum Support International. "PSI urges you to participate in this important campaign."
Lisa Stone, BlogHer Co-founder and CEO, added: “The BlogHer community has chosen Global Health as the focus for our year-long blogging activism initiative, BlogHers Act. Blog Day for the MOTHERS Act is exactly the kind of project where BlogHer’s community can make a difference on legislation that will save women’s lives.
And, Katherine Stone, author of the Posptartum Progress blog, noted: “"Postpartum mood disorders are a disease of motherhood -- they can affect any woman who becomes a mother, regardless of who she is. If we don't do something to better educate and treat the mothers who may suffer, we are doing a disservice to all mothers, children and families everywhere. All it takes is a phone call to let the Senate know that the women of America want the MOTHERS Act to pass."
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