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Training Event Gives Healthcare Providers Latest News on PMD

Training event attendeesPerinatal mood disorders touch virtually all women, whether it’s the baby blues or postpartum depression, but women who give birth in New Jersey are luckier than most because it is the only state that mandates screening for postpartum depression.

In addition to raising consumer awareness of PMD through a Web site, media coverage and advertising, New Jersey also educates healthcare providers on ways to recognize and effectively help women who are suffering from PMD.

The NJ Department of Health held “On the Front Lines of Perinatal Mood Disorders: Practical Strategies for Healthcare and Social Services Providers” on May 27. Hundreds of healthcare providers heard the latest information on diagnosing and treating perinatal mood disorders, such as PPD and post traumatic stress disorder. Doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and nurses listened to speakers and engaged in dialogue about perinatal mental health issues.

The physical and emotional responses to pregnancy and delivery differ from woman to woman, and the conference’s speakers and attendees had varied perspectives on how to treat and recognize the differing issues healthcare providers may face.

As with any disorder, staying up-to-date with research helps healthcare workers understand what to look for and learn the best ways to give proper care. This becomes especially important with mental health issues, where lack of awareness can lead to improper diagnoses and incorrect treatment.

Attendee asks a questionThe day’s agenda covered the mood disorders that can occur throughout pregnancy, including the anxiety of infertility; post-traumatic stress disorder, which can surface during labor; and the effects of postpartum depression on families and individuals. These issues were touched on by speakers as well as the event’s attendees, who were given the opportunity to talk or ask questions in an open forum at the end of each speaker’s remarks.

The day ended with a postpartum depression survivors’ panel moderated by former New Jersey First Lady Mary Jo Codey. Some of the speakers were emotional, still overwhelmed by the pain of PPD. Hearing the stories of these women reminded attendees of their crucial role in identifying warning signs and early symptoms of PMD to spare other women the pain still felt by Connie Bonillas, Nancy Sanchez, Adrienne Richardson, and Mary Jo Codey.

Connie ended her remarks with that sentiment.

“I need you to know that you have a role to play to help women, to make sure that it doesn’t have to go as long as it did for me,” she said.


Perinatal mood disorders are treatable. But first you have to ask for help.

call the helpline 24/7 at


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Last Modified: Thursday, 12-Jul-12 11:44:39