The MOTHERS Act now passed in Senate version of Healthcare Reform thanks to the efforts of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez!

Hallelujah!!! Here is some great news to truly validate our combined efforts and the hopes of THOUSANDS who have never waivered in their support!!!

We are THAT MUCH CLOSER to our goal of better understanding and protecting America’s mothers from postpartum related mood disorders thanks to the incredible focus of U.S Senator Robert Menendez. That much closer to ensuring that the tragedies of untreated maternal mood disorders will cease to devastate American mothers, infants and families.

The MOTHERS Act has been successfully included and passed in the Senate version of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act !

The Senator’s office will now continue to work closely with House advocates to ensure it remains in the reconciled version of the bill which will then be presented to Congress for final passage.

But neither these initiatives would not be receiving such public and legislative support were it not for early groundbreaking efforts in the House and Senate to promote postpartum depression research and education.

Congressman Bobby L. Rush has long been a champion of PPD research and education since moved by the plight of his constituent Melanie Blocker Stokes.

Melanie, a beautiful, intelligent mother of a young child with every reason to live, leapt to her death as a result of untreated postpartum illness. Her mother Carol Blocker has waged a tireless campaign to end ignorance. These early champions including Richard and Mary Jo Codey, who dared to look such darkness in the face helped create the initial public platform that led to laws in IL and NJ demanding more attention to postpartum mental health issues.

If you are interested in reading the bill’s specific language, you can go to this link and click on “Full Text of Bill as Passed”. The language referencing The MOTHERS Act initiatives can be found on pages 595-604, section 2952 “Support Education and Research for Postpartum Depression”.

As The MOTHERS Act has always enjoyed great and nearly unanimous support in the U.S. House of Representatives, there is every reason to assume a successful outcome as the bills merge for final consideration and passage. Now is a great time to add your name to the petition to amplify the deafening drumbeat of support as our position strengthens!

Individual listings of constituents from every state who support this bill offer additional personal testimony to the science that substantiates the devastation of untreated maternal depression. Show your state representatives that you are among those who understand the bill’s critical importance to American families!

The days of decreasing the stigma of maternal mental illness long borne by silent suffering mothers and increasing the life saving awareness and services so desperately needed seem imminent.

Happy New Year!!!!

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Perinatal Pro by Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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6 Responses to The MOTHERS Act now passed in Senate version of Healthcare Reform thanks to the efforts of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez!

  1. Much thanks and gratitude to all the women who’ve had the courage to speak up, whether moms, family members, advocates, and make themselves heard. I’ve been in this field for 25 years, and there’s nothing more important than mom’s getting a healthy start with their emotional health to raise healthy children and families. Twenty five years ago, the words postpartum depression were not in the public awareness and even more women and their families suffered in silence. It takes a village to bring about the change which has occurred and the perseverance of many for the good of all.

    Special thanks to those early pioneers, Jane Honikman and Nancy Berchtold, who gave postpartum awareness a voice, and to those who continue to do so, Katherine, Joan, Carol, and others. Together, we are making a difference.

    Warmly, Diane.

  2. Susan Stone says:

    Dear Meri and Cindy:

    Thanks so much for having the courage to write and share your stories. It is women like yourselves who have come forward to reveal their personal experiences who have given the most impetus to this bill. Women like you both; Mary Jo Codey, Sylvia Lasalandra, Katherine Stone, Carol Blocker, Joan Mudd and countless others who have raised their voices and refused to allowed the ignorance to continue.

    Also, the Mikulski Amendment, which includes SCREENING for postpartum depression also passed in another part of the healthcare reform bill. It was actually the FIRST Amendment included in healthcare reform. Finally, women and mothers are being heard.

    Thanks again for writing,


  3. Meri Jackson says:

    I am so delighted to know that there are people that “believe” postpartum to be true! I am grateful to all for this FIGHT! I will do my best to aid in this petition signed and Belief because I too have suffered! I praise all Mom’s, Dad’s and family members that doseek help and overcome postpartum! I had family that didn’t belief this to be my cause, yet I have had 4 children! Praise you all!

  4. Cindy Lynch says:

    Thank you for your support of the Mother’s Act. I suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of my triplets in 2000. I delivered my babies at a well known and well respected major Chicgo hospital, yet when I told my Ob-Gyn of my post-partum feelings she refused to believe me. Luckily, my husband encouraged me to seek other help and my babies were not harmed and I received the help I needed.

    Cindy Lynch

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