COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
Phone: (617) 722-1410
Monday, December 16, 2013
SENATOR LOVELY TO SERVE ON SPECIAL COMMISSION ON POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
(Boston) Today Senator Lovely announced her appointment to the Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression. Earlier this month, Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray appointed Senator Lovely to serve on the Commission, which is tasked with studying the issue of postpartum depression (PPD) throughout the Commonwealth.
“I’m grateful for this appointment and for the opportunity to contribute to the Commission’s efforts,” said Senator Lovely, who also serves as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. The Senator added, “This Commission demonstrates the commitment of our state to addressing postpartum depression and maternal mental health, and, as a mother and legislator, I’ve been eager to join that commitment.”
Senator Lovely recently stated her concern for the mental health of new mothers in a guest blog post that she wrote for MassKidsCount.org. Entitled, “Turning Our Attention to Postpartum Depression”, Senator Lovely’s post raised awareness of the issue and shared resources to help mothers struggling with PPD.
The Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression was established when Governor Patrick signed into law “An Act Relative to Postpartum Depression”: Chapter 313 of the Acts of 2010. Pursuant to the statute, the Commission has been assigned the following responsibilities:
- Assessing current research on prevention, detection or treatment of PPD;
- Reviewing current PPD screening policies and practices;
- Assisting the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) in the development of educational materials, referral lists for PPD treatment, and in the designation of authorized screening tools;
- Assisting MDPH in applying for federal funding;
- Filing an annual report at the end of each state fiscal year
Chaired by state Representative Ellen Story and state Senator Thomas McGee, the Commission includes legislators, state officials, nonprofit organization leaders, medical professionals, and survivors of PPD. Senator Lovely fills a vacancy in one of the four positions designated for members of the state Senate.