On February 12th, ABC's hit series "Private Practice" will air an episode with a storyline on postpartum depression. ABC consulted with Postpartum Support International to create a public service announcement about postpartum depression which will be available on their website immediately following the show. Katherine Stone, author of Postpartum Progress - the nation's most widely read blog on postpartum depression - and public relations chair for PSI, consulted with ABC on the development of the PSA. Post show, viewers will be directed to the public service announcement on ABC's Private Practice website where contact information for Postpartum Support International can be found.
While the episode has not been seen prior to airing, we are hopeful that the material will closely correspond to the clinical presentations women experience when going through postpartum depression. Most importantly, we hope the storyline and PSA will convey the fact that such illnesses are common, treatable and no reflection on the mother! Storylines which responsibly present the ravages of these illnesses without the alienating sensationalism - which fuels stigma rather than hope - can greatly influence a nation's response to those suffering from these illnesses. Be sure you watch the episode - we will offer a forum for your feedback and comments the day after the show airs.
Many thanks to ABC for their willingness to not only approach this critical subject matter, but to offer viewers contact information to Postpartum Support International, the world's largest nonprofit devoted to the eradication of perinatal mood disorders. This ensures that those moved by the shows content will not be left wondering where they can go to find help for themselves or a loved one.
CBS Cares, a division of CBS Television network, in previous years created a public service announcement campaign on postpartum depression, also in conjunction with PSI, which was released during an episode of their award winning series Cold Case. The episode depicted signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis, was sensitively presented and seen by millions of viewers who were greatly moved.