COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 2, 2017
Senator Lovely and Representative O’Day to host 3rd annual Postpartum Depression Awareness Day
(Boston, MA) – On Tuesday, June 13th, The Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression will host its 3rd annual Postpartum Depression Awareness Day at the Massachusetts State House. The event is sponsored by Commission Co-chairs Senator Joan B. Lovely and Representative James J. O’Day alongside University of Massachusetts Medical Center OBGYN and Psychiatry Departments. The event will include presentations from a host of speakers and stakeholders representing the diverse perspectives of mothers, families and medical professionals.
The Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression (PPD) was established in 2010, and was renamed in 2016 through legislation sponsored by Senator Joan B. Lovely and signed by Governor Charlie Baker to honor the work of former State Representative Ellen Story, who championed PPD policy work for the Commonwealth.
The Commission brings together legislators, commissioners, clinicians, and community organizations to make recommendations to the Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts State Legislature on advancing best practices regarding PPD screening, treatment, and public and professional education. Since its inception, the Commission has published annual reports on its continued pursuits, including: collaboration with the Department of Public Health to promulgate postpartum depression screening report requirements, funding state-wide Community Health Center PPD pilot programs, and advocating for PPD screening coverage in pediatric settings.
“This event plays an important role in connecting a network of stakeholders to support mothers and families when they need help the most,” stated Senator Joan Lovely. “I am proud to Chair the Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression continuing our work to make maternal mental health a top priority.”
The Ellen Story Commission on PPD continues to advocate for mental health. As part of the work of the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health, the first week of May is designated as Maternal Mental Health Week to continue to raise awareness and decrease stigma on prenatal and postpartum depression. In advance of Mother’s Day, the House of Representatives voted to pass the H.3680, An Act establishing Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, sponsored on the Senate side by Senator Joan B. Lovely. This bill requires employers to provide low cost, reasonable accommodations for the pregnant employees. The Commission is eager to continue this energy and momentum into the Awareness Day, and invited all interested individuals and parties to attend this important event.
The 3rd annual Postpartum Depression Awareness Day will take place on June 13th in the State House Great Hall from 12:00 to 3:00 PM.