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Perinatal Depression Awareness Month: Task Force Works to Inform, Raise Awareness

May 2, 2011
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For the past year, the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force has worked to increase advocacy, public awareness and training activities aimed at raising awareness of, and reducing the stigma around, postpartum depression and other mood disorders. In addition, the First 5 LA Community Opportunities Fund grantee played an instrumental role in May being designated Perinatal Depression Awareness Month by the state.

The Task Force campaigned alongside the Junior Leagues of California's State Public Affairs Council for ACR 105, the Assembly Concurrent Resolution that makes every May Perinatal Depression Awareness Month in California.

In Los Angeles County, the Task Force successfully lobbied the Board of Supervisors to support ACR 105. Furthermore, in partnership with the LA Best Babies Network, the Task Force co-hosted a policy roundtable that focused on building sustainable policies to improve maternal mental health screening practices and treatment services in the County.

The Task Force is spreading the word about Perinatal Depression this month in several ways:

  • Their bilingual "Speak Up When You're Down" posters are hanging in birthing hospitals, community clinics and child development centers around the County. The posters make families aware of the signs of perinatal depression and the resources available to them.
  • More than 100,000 bilingual "Six Things Every New Mom and Mom-to-Be Should Know about Maternal Depression" brochures are also being distributed countywide.
  • Every new mother in every birthing hospital in the County this May will receive the informational brochure and a palm card with important education and information as part of a joint effort with the Junior Leagues of Los Angeles.
  • A Mother's Day public service announcement on Perinatal Depression Awareness Month will be distributed, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In addition, staff at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center will receive training on perinatal mental health, as will the promotoras at Esperanza House and staff at the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center, the County Office of Education Early Start and the Antelope Valley Partners for Families. Finally, the Task Force updated the Perinatal Mental Health Resource Guide and trained 211 operators to recognize and respond to callers who may be suffering from perinatal depression.

‹‹ Back to this week's Monday Morning Report.


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