Nearly two years ago, on May 11th, 2007, at the invitation of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, actress and author Brooke Shields came to Washington DC to share her postpartum experience and urge Congress to pass The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. Her compelling testimony helped further awaken our nation to the reality of pregnancy related mood disorders and the need for action NOW.
She was joined that day by U. S. Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Bobby L. Rush, Former NJ First Lady Mary Jo Codey, Carol Blocker – Melanie Blocker Stokes mother – Sylvia Lasalandra and myself in a press conference encouraging every stakeholder - every mother, father, sister, friend, family member, loved one, Congressman and health care professional - to support this life saving bill.
After reaching out to Brooke's camp to inform her of the bill’s progress, Ms. Shields still strongly supports the passage of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. Here is a quote from Ms. Shields:
"I wish I had known, (been) informed in some way, but nobody said anything to me about postpartum depression. The knowledge of PPD is a tool that I believe all women deserve, and this bill represents that tool and it's an easy gift to give women everywhere. I urge Congress to pay attention and finally listen and not let postpartum depression go undiagnosed and untreated. There's research that needs to be done. Postpartum depression is a disease that, like any other disease, we would want to inform people of and offer treatment and research for. Now is the time to pass this bill ."
- Brooke Shields
On March 30, 2009, thanks to the efforts of Congressman Bobby L. Rush, the MBSMA passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with nearly unanimous bipartisan support and now awaits consideration in the U.S. Senate H.E.L.P. committee. Ms. Shields hopes you will add your voice to hers and the thousands of women, infants, families, advocates and healthcare providers who want postpartum depression legislation passed THIS YEAR.