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  • Dr. Shari-ann James

Shining a Light on Maternal Mental Health

Maternal Mental Health

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month in May serves as a beacon of recognition and support for mothers navigating the often tumultuous waters of postpartum mental health. Perinatal Mental Health Disorders (PMHDs) affect an estimated 800,000 new parents each year. Making it an important time to amplify conversations, dismantle stigma, and advocate for comprehensive care that addresses the emotional well-being of mothers.

By shining a spotlight on maternal mental health during this month, we strive to foster empathy, understanding, and action within communities, healthcare systems, and policymaking arenas. From sharing stories of resilience to providing resources for support, Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month empowers mothers to prioritize their mental wellness and seek the assistance they need without fear or shame. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men experience depression or anxiety during the perinatal period. And only 25% of those affected are identified and receive treatment.

Beyond just raising awareness, this month-long observance fuels a collective commitment to enact tangible change in how we perceive and address maternal mental health. It prompts crucial conversations about the barriers to care, the importance of early intervention and screening, and the necessity of holistic support systems for mothers. As we commemorate Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, we pledge not only to advocate for better mental health services and policies but also to cultivate a culture of compassion and acceptance where every mother feels seen, heard, and valued in her journey toward emotional well-being.

If you are in need of help:Call the PSI HelpLine at 1-800-944-4773 (English and Spanish) or visit Postpartum Support International Text “Help” to 800-944-4773 for English.

If you need someone to talk to, call or text the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262) any time. It's free and confidential. #MaternalMentalHealth #TLCMAMA


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