Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District


May 11, 2018

Senator Lovely and Representative O’Day host 4th annual Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Day

(Boston, MA) –The Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression (PPD) hosted its 4th annual Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Day at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday, May 9th. The event was sponsored by Commission co-chairs Senator Joan B. Lovely and Representative James J. O’Day, alongside the Massachusetts Section of The American College of Obstetricians (MA-ACOG) and Gynecologists and Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) for Moms. The event included speakers representing diverse perspectives from advocates focused on raising awareness for perinatal mental health, as well as promoting recovery from substance use disorder for mothers and families.

“It is an honor to Co-chair the Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression and work with an amazing network of support for mothers and families in need,” said Senator Lovely, “It is the tireless work of all stakeholders that has transformed Massachusetts into a national leader in addressing perinatal mental health.”

One of the Commission’s legislative priorities, H.1156, An Act relative to postpartum depression screening, sponsored by Representative Carole Fiola, provides essential screening in order to prevent potential developmental and emotional delays of children affected by maternal depression.

In the budget released yesterday by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) received a commitment of $3,700,000 and $500,000 will be spent statewide to specifically address mental health concerns in pregnant and postpartum women. In addition, $200,000 was funded to support postpartum depression pilot programs at community health centers in the cities of Holyoke, Lynn and Worcester and in the Jamaica Plain section of the city of Boston.

Since the establishment of the Commission in 2010, legislators, commissioners, clinicians and community organizations have collaborated to make recommendations to the Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts State Legislature on advancing research on best practices to screen for PPD, as well as offer resources and treatment for families.