Several weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act by a significant bipartisan minority. The bill is now off to the Senate, where it sits in the Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee awaiting markup.
While the bill was passed in the House and has gained the support of many organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, March of Dimes, and Postpartum Support International, the bill still needs your support.
There are many misconceptions surrounding this legislation, and several groups have attempted to portray the MOTHERS Act as a means of coercing new mothers into treatment. (It should be noted that the MOTHERS Act mandates neither screening nor treatment; its primary goals are to increase awareness and provide education to both new mothers and health care providers. In addition, it seeks to set aside funds for research and improving access to care.)
This is how you can help:
Susan Dowd Stone, former president of Postpartum Support International, has taken the lead in putting together a petition of those who support the MOTHERS Act. This petition is for everybody — whether you are a health care provider, a women with PPD, a friend or family member, or just someone who believes that we need to devote more attention and resources to postpartum depression. You can put your name on the list by contacting Susan Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please sign up today! This petition will be presented to senators in May, some time before Mother’s Day.
Read previous blog posts on the MOTHERS Act:
MOTHERS Act Legislation Faces Opposition – June 4, 2008
Show your support for Postpartum Depression Legislation – May 2, 2008