The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition endorses The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act

Today we were notified that this prolific, well directed and worthy organization has endorsed S 324, bringing another solid vote for life-saving services for mothers, infants and families suffering from perinatal mood disorders.

The Coalition is calling for a comprehensive look at perinatal mental health to facilitate a thorough understanding of the many factors surrounding it.

Judy Meehan, Executive Director, says “Too many women are suffering, and too many families are negatively affected by the significant effects of postpartum depression. With assessment tools, education, support and treatment now available, partners in public health have an opportunity and a responsibility to help. Every woman deserves to have the information and access to care she needs to take care of her health and be the best mom she can be. “

Thank you Judy and the membership of NHMHBC. As a network of professionals working in a variety of disciplines, Coalition partners recognize the power of partnerships. The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition offers a forum for nonprofit organizations, major medical associations, businesses and employers to share science surrounding the many issues of relevance to maternal and child health.

So how could we lose in our advocacy efforts with this amazing group of continuing endorsements. When you read through this impressive list The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act sounds like a shoe-in. So why does this blogger, mental health practitioner, mother, ppd survivor and community member still sound so frantic? Why do the emails and posts keep coming with their increasing pleas to call your U.S. Senator and join our state by state constituent listing?

Multiple demands on tax dollars to subsidize major healthcare reform mean there will be compromise… we are but one of many groups advocating for those dollars. Maternal mental health has always come up on the short end of the stick if it comes up at all. Without your raised voices, the legislation may NOT pass and we’ll be back to patchwork services, diminishing research dollars, help for some and not for others and seasonal fundraisers to keep our doors open and the coffee on.

The silent majority will lose again for no other reason than we couldn’t get it together to call DC and express our outrage at the continuing plague of untreated maternal depression and compromise to our nation’s most critical social dyad of mother and child.

The noisy minority, out there right now busily scaring frightened, shamed and suffering moms into thinking they are about to be bamboozled into a childless drug stupor should the legislation pass, will consider it their victory. It won’t be. This fight is ours to lose. The legislators reading the bill know it is well intended and that the numbers affected merit its serious consideration. But the squeaky wheel gets the oil folks especially when the can is half empty. It’s that simple.

Without your help, the plight of mentally ill mothers will remain closeted behind the shaming and isolative MOTHERHOOD MYTH. We’ll have to keep combating the stigma and ignorance around maternal mental health. We will remain a civilized country that lags behind others in even BASIC RECOGNITION of maternal mental health issues.

For the thousands of hits our combined websites are getting this week as we blog and email for the mothers who suffer now, for those who came before them, and for those who have been lost, the calls to senators are not happening. The permission to list names is not happening in the numbers I KNOW are out there. You may think someone else will call, but you would be wrong. Grassroots movements depend on everyone pulling together. It really won’t happen without you.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez is a highly skilled, respected and compassionate champion for our nation’s mothers, infants and families….a legislative general going into battle for us amidst most difficult economic circumstances because we said our nation’s mothers needed The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. And he and those aligned with him in the U.S. Senate agree. BUT WHERE IS HIS ARMY?

Please take five minutes to get involved today. Two calls (your state’s U.S. Senators) and an email (susanstonelcsw@aol.com)
with your name and state asking to be added to the constituent petition. That’s all.

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