Help for Postpartum Depression
One in seven pregnant or postpartum mothers all over the globe will experience depression, anxiety or another perinatal mood disorder. Whether they live in a palace or a walk-up, have five children or one, are alone or surrounded by family — no one is exempt.
There is help available though. Postpartum Support International (PSI) is accessible from anywhere in the world. PSI is the leading maternal mental health organization, offering support to families and front-line providers, training, consultation, and resources. PSI makes sure mothers, fathers, and families can find exactly what and who they need, no matter where they live.
It is important for all women to know that everyone is vulnerable. Stigma is a serious barrier to care and for that reason families who don’t understand or are embarrassed by postpartum depression may discourage moms from getting help. Some difficult cases may even lead to suicide.
Considering how common mental health struggles are in pregnancy and postpartum, why do so few reach out? The barriers to care are many. Stigmas around mental illness create shame. For mothers, painted by society as placid, beatific saints, admitting they are struggling is hard. A culture of family bias can result in hiding behind closed doors and keeping a stiff upper lip.
Racism, discrimination, and healthcare disparities increase the vulnerability of and risk to people of color, immigrants, and people living in poverty, adding to obstacles that are already in place to keep women from the mental health care they need and deserve.
One of the vital missions of Postpartum Support International is to eliminate stigma and barriers to care and equalize the field to ensure access to maternal mental health care for all. In fact, PSI has state Chapters and Support Coordinators in every U.S. state and 65 countries worldwide. Not only that, PSI is virtual and can be reached directly, confidentially, and anonymously by phone, email, text or social media message from anywhere in the world. PSI’s network of global support means that parents can be connected with support and treatment no matter where they are from.
There are many reasons mothers and their families are afraid to reach out, don’t know what to do or who to call. Here is what everyone needs to know:
• You are not alone.
• Depression or anxiety can begin during pregnancy, or up to 12 months postpartum.
• You do not need a diagnosis to reach out for help.
• Symptoms can include depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsiveness, trauma responses, hyper-vigilance, and, in rare cases, psychosis.
It’s okay if you are not sure what you need. No matter how severe your symptoms are, they are temporary and treatable. Please reach out for help whether you are a little worried or are in a crisis.
Contact Postpartum Support International to connect you with support and services. Text: in English 800-944-4773 or en Español 971-203-7773, phone (in both languages) 800-944-4773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also find PSI support via social media: @postpartumsupportinternational and on its website that has portals for accessing information and help: postpartum.net.