WASHINGTON – Leaders in the fight against postpartum depression are celebrating today as The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act – legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to combat postpartum depression – will become law as part of landmark health insurance reform that passed Congress last night. The legislation will establish a comprehensive federal commitment to combating postpartum depression through new research, education initiatives and voluntarily support service programs.
“Millions of mothers nationwide who are suffering or will suffer from postpartum depression are among the winners as a result of the new health insurance reform law,” said Senator Menendez. “These women understand that postpartum depression is serious and disabling, and that the support structure to help prepare for and overcome it is has been woefully insufficient. We will attack postpartum depression on multiple fronts – with education, support, and research – so that new moms can feel supported and safe rather than scared and alone. I applaud the incredible group of advocates and inspirational women who helped this become a reality, I applaud Rep. Bobby Rush and Senator Richard Durbin for helping to champion this cause, and I am absolutely thrilled that this will be the law of the land.”
“Finally, women all over the county are going to have access to the kinds of support services and information that women in New Jersey have had for a number of years,” said Mary Jo Codey, former First Lady of New Jersey and leading advocate in the fight against postpartum depression. And we're going to get more research into these insidious illnesses. This is what I'd worked and hoped for over a long period of time. I almost can't believe it finally happened!"