Even as healthcare reform dominates the national legislative agenda, constituents all across America continue to write and send their signatures in support of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. This welcome continuation and expression of approval is a direct result of the public’s growing awareness of the prolific consequences of untreated maternal depression and the past lack of response that continues suffering.
Such positive and proactive awareness has been spawned by program development at the local community, state and federal level responding to maternal child health issues from many perspectives. Non profits including Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, The March of Dimes, The What to Expect Foundation, Postpartum Support International, Give an Hour, to name but a few, are joining forces with each other and major television networks like CBS and ABC, other cable networks, documentary producers and professional organizations to SHARE KNOWLEDGE, pool resources, spread awareness and comprehensively attack the issue of untreated maternal depression.
This inspirational and unprecedented convergence of forces has brought a long sought momentum to our issue that includes, but is not limited to; support for federal legislation, support and funding of maternal child wellness programs, course development at the graduate level which includes perinatal mood disorders, publication of new books specifically written to address this issue, research to determine etiology and treatment of these illnesses, inclusion of perinatal mood disorders in major medical conferences and workshops, funding for the training of professionals and family awareness programs, early detection and identification programs, innovative outreach through partnerships with technology and public health, websites devoted to the eradication of these illnesses and many other impressively creative public/private partnerships designed to end the suffering and normalize the treatable experience of perinatal mood disorders.
Paradoxically, support for The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act and maternal depression has also been stimulated by articles meant to discourage endorsement.