There is some legislation being considered in the House and Senate that all of you — health care providers, advocates, women and their families and friends — should know about:
House of Representatives Bill #HR3235 was introduced by Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA), and the companion Senate Bill #S2311 was introduced by Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). These bills call for an amendment to the Public Health Service Act to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to states for screening and treatment for maternal depression.
What is so great is that this legislation comes with financial incentives. The non-partisan bills – which are currently supported by eight congress members – call for the federal government to provide $5 million annually for four years, 2016-2020, to states to support their actions in finding “innovative solutions” to this pervasive problem.
As of today, the bills have eight co-sponsors. But the bills need more sponsors in both the House anD Senate.
What Can I Do Support this Legislation?
Today the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health (NCMMH) is hosting a national #LoveAnotherMother day of action, asking supporters to call, tweet or share with their Congressional representatives to urge them to co-sponsor the Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015, which provides financial incentives to states to create improved access to treatment for maternal mental health conditions like postpartum depression.
Take Action! Tweet using your representative’s Twitter handle or post to their Facebook page.
Use the #LoveAnotherMother hashtag. After you find your representative’s twitter handle, you can use one of these messages to send to your representative.
Supporters are invited to contact their representatives’ Capitol Hill offices.
To find your representative and his or her contact information, go to Open Congress. This site has email addresses, phone numbers, twitter handles, and Facebook page addresses.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD