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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
July 26, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Kelley Heck
609-777-2600


 
FIRST LADY LAUNCHES STATEWIDE EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN ON POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Campaign Encourages Women, Families to Seek Help


 

(TRENTON) – First Lady Mary Jo Codey today launched a statewide educational campaign designed to build awareness about postpartum depression and offer resources for women, their families, and health care professionals.

 

Titled “Recognizing Postpartum Depression: Speak Up When You’re Down,” the campaign features Mrs. Codey, who will continue to be actively engaged in communicating her personal experience and encouraging women to get treatment.  

 

“This campaign teaches the public about the real and serious nature of postpartum depression,” Mrs. Codey said. “It gives women the encouragement they need to get the help they need, and it lets women who feel guilty know they have done nothing wrong.

 

“Even though a woman may suffer from postpartum depression,” Mrs. Codey continued, “it does not mean she cannot get better and become a wonderful mother.”

 

The First Lady announced the campaign during a news conference at Hackensack University Medical Center. She was joined by her husband, Acting Governor Richard J. Codey, along with the Commissioner of the State Department of Health and Senior Services Fred M. Jacobs, M.D, J.D.

 

“The State of New Jersey has joined Mrs. Codey’s personal commitment to educate women and their families about the seriousness of postpartum depression,” Jacobs said. “Twenty years ago when she first experienced postpartum depression, she felt she was alone. We now know that between 11,000 and 16,000 women in our state suffer from postpartum depression each year.  New Jersey is committed to providing resources to ensure that all new mothers have access to postpartum depression screening and treatment, regardless of economic status.”

 

In January, Acting Governor Richard J. Codey, in his State of the State address, directed the Commissioner to develop a public awareness and educational campaign on postpartum depression.  In support of the campaign, he has declared August Postpartum Depression Awareness Month in New Jersey.

 

The campaign includes a Web site (www.njspeakup.gov) with sections for both consumers and health care professionals, and a 24-7 postpartum depression help line (1-800-328-3838) that provides women and their families with information about local resources for screening, as well as emergency assistance. 

 

As part of the campaign, patient education materials will be distributed to health care providers throughout the state for placement in physician offices, clinics and hospitals. They include a consumer brochure explaining postpartum depression symptoms and treatment options, and a video featuring Mrs. Codey and other New Jersey women who have experienced postpartum depression. The campaign will include continuing medical education credits through an online course as well as for attendance at educational seminars scheduled for the fall.

 

Eighty percent of women experience some level of the baby blues after giving birth, and symptoms usually clear up on their own. One in eight women experiences postpartum depression. When symptoms don’t go away in a few weeks, women should seek help through health care providers and licensed counselors. Treatment may include talk therapy, medication, support groups, or a combination.

 

Campaign materials are available in English and Spanish on www.njspeakup.gov. Referrals to local resources and immediate assistance can be accessed through the 24-7 PPD help line at 1-800-328-3838.

 

 

 
 
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