I can’t believe ten years have flown by since (in my role as director of the PPD Alliance of IL) I first approached the Illinois Governor’s office to ask that May be proclaimed Postpartum Depression Awareness Month in Illinois. Back then the governor was Rod Blagojevich. Luckily for us he agreed and a lot of red tape later the Postpartum Depression Alliance of Illinois received the first proclamation. With it’s seal and beautiful calligraphy it is a pretty impressive document.
Every year I go back to the Governor’s office and they renew the proclamation. For the past few years it has been Governor Quinn that has lent his support to our mission to promote awareness, prevention and treatment of maternal mental health issues throughout the state of Illinois.
This year Governor Quinn stated “I am proud to declare May as Postpartum Mood Disorders Awareness Month in Illinois. By increasing public awareness of these mood disorders, we can identify women who will benefit from treatment, saving them from unnecessary distress and suffering.”
Jackie Pilossoph from the Northbrook Star wrote a lovely article this week about the Alliance, the work we do and about the 10 year anniversary of May being proclaimed Perinatal Mood Disorders Awareness Month. Please click the link below to read it.
May Named Perinatal Mood Disorders Awareness Month
Looking back across the last decade, we have seen an increase in awareness and resources across the state. Most hospitals give information about postpartum mood disorders to women as they leave the maternity wards and we have more support groups and professionals trained in screening and treating postpartum depression. There has also been research that shows that pregnancy anxiety and depression are almost as common as postpartum mood disorders and we are helping professionals and women be aware of this too which is why it is now called Perinatal Mood Disorders (PPMD) Awareness Month – perinatal means both the pregnancy and postpartum period.
The PPD Alliance of Illinois has also grown over the past ten years and we now have both a helpline and a website. I have been joined by five wonderful volunteers – Leanne McNett Beyer, Venessa Nickel, Emily Robb and Lita Simanis (shown above) and Lara Vazquez who provide email and telephone support to women seeking reassurance and resources within Illinois.
Despite these advances, many women with PPMD are still not detected by health care professionals and go without treatment and we are committed to carrying on our work to help women and their families to get the support and treatment they need.
We really want women to know that they are not alone and with help, they can feel well again.
To download a free Guide to Pregnancy & Postpartum Stress, Anxiety & Depression visit www.drsarahallen.com/pregnancy-postpartum.
For more information on pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders and to find support and resources in Illinois please visit www.ppdil.org or call our information line 847 205-4455.
or if you would like to contact me personally, please complete the form below: