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Ellen Story: Stresses importance of PPD publicity



Wednesday, January 01, 2014
To the editor:

I was glad to see Eric Goldscheider’s good article about Postpartum Depression (PPD) in the Gazette (Dec. 30), and to learn about Justine Dymond’s book. The more publicity about PPD, the better, so that the stigma is lessened.

Ms. Dymond’s situation is like many other women’s stories. What is different is that she was able to write about it and let others learn from it. Many women suffer in silence, thinking that they are the only ones who are struggling with negative feelings after having a new baby.

Four years ago I introduced a law that created a governor-appointed Postpartum Depression Commission. We have been meeting for two years, a group of about 30 people, including psychiatrists, pediatricians, obstetrician-gynecologists, nurses, state agency and nonprofit leaders and survivors of PPD. We are working toward universal screening and treatment of PPD through several excellent initiatives, including collaboration with the outstanding local moms’ nonprofit, MotherWoman.

To learn more, you can go to www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/family-health/postpartum-depression/.

Ellen Story

Amherst

The writer is the state representative for the 3rd Hampshire District. She is also chairwoman of the Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression.