Speak Up When You’re Down
Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and postpartum depression are treatable. For caring support and referrals, call Postpartum Support International at 1.800.944.4773.
What is Perinatal Depression?
- Perinatal depression is depression that occurs during pregnancy and/or within a year after childbirth.
- Perinatal depression is estimated to impact 10%-20% of new mothers and can affect any woman regardless of age, race, income, culture, or education.
- Women living in poverty are more likely to experience perinatal depression and teen mothers are twice as likely to suffer from the disorder.
- Perinatal depression symptoms range from mild to severe and can include feelings of sadness, guilt, fear, worthlessness and anxiety, and difficulty making decisions.
- Many women suffering from perinatal depression have difficulty finding the energy to care for themselves, their infants, and their families. Some even have feelings about harming themselves and their children.
- Without treatment, symptoms may last a few weeks, months, or even years.
- Eighty percent (80%) of women with perinatal depression will go undiagnosed and untreated and will suffer needlessly.
- Early diagnosis and treatment is critical, therefore it is imperative that women and their family and friends and clinicians and other professionals know the signs and symptoms of perinatal depression.
Junior League’s Impact
The Junior League of Los Angeles has worked locally and with the Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee at a statewide level to raise awareness of this devastating and treatable medical condition and encourage women and their families who may be suffering to seek help.
- The Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee sponsored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 105 in 2010 which designated the month of May each year in California as Perinatal Depression Awareness Month. The month of May was selected to coincide with Mother’s Day.
- The Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee co-sponsored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 53, the Kelly Abraham Martinez Act, with the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force in 2011. This measure urged hospital providers, mental health care providers, health plans, and insurers to invest resources to educate women about perinatal depression risk factors and requested that a statewide network of stakeholders explore ways to assist with the development of perinatal depression prevention educational materials.
- The Junior League of Los Angeles featured guest speakers on the topic of perinatal depression at its membership meetings in January 2010 and March 2013.
- The Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee worked with Radio Disney and state legislators in 2011 to produce a radio public service announcement that aired in three major markets – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.
- The Junior League of Los Angeles partnered with Clear Channel in May 2011 to display Speak Up When You’re Down information using donated ad space on 60 digital billboards in Los Angeles County.
- The Junior League of Los Angeles teamed up with the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force to distribute posters, brochures, and referral cards to hospitals during the month of May from 2011-2013 to provide hospitals with information to provide to new mothers all year long.
- The Junior League of Los Angeles partnered with Women in Film to produce a public service announcement released in May 2013.
- The Junior League of Los Angeles co-hosted a movie screening of the "Dark Side of the Full Moon" with 2020 Mom and LA County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force in May 2015.
- California SPAC was awarded the first ever Association of Junior Leagues International's Public Policy and Advocacy Award, for its advocacy work on the issue of maternal mental health.
Speak Up When You’re Down Materials
- The Junior Leagues of California created materials to use in their state-wide awareness campaigns. Download and print these yourself or work with a printer.
- The brochure Six Things Every New Mom & Mom-to-Be Should Know About Maternal Depression can be ordered in English, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi,Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese from the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force.
- The 2020 Mom Project is a national call to action that sets forth an aggressive new path for solving what some have called one of the biggest public health concerns of our time: the silent maternal mental health crisis which impacts up to 20% of expecting and new moms. The project seeks to bring about change by the year 2020.
- The California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative was formed at the urging of the California Legislature with the passage of Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 53, the Kelly Abraham Martinez Act, co-sponsored by the Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee and the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force. The Collaborative seeks to improve awareness, diagnosis and treatment for maternal mental health disorders and hosts two forums a year and tele-seminars on a variety of topics.
- The Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force is a coalition composed of over 35 public and private non-profit agencies as well community leaders, research partners and advocates for mothers, infants, and families. It also includes grassroots participation by survivors of maternal depression and affected family members.
- The National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health unites members from national organizations devoted to addressing maternal mental health. Our goal is to engage stakeholders, advocate for change in policies and practices, and raise awareness.
- Postpartum Support International is dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Postpartum Support International works to educate family, friends, and healthcare providers so that moms and moms-to-be can get the support they need and recover.