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New York, NY - NYC Sets Goal To Screen, Treat All Pregnant Women And New Mothers For Maternal Depression

Published on: November 17, 2015 03:00 PM
Last updated on: November 17, 2015 05:37 PM
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First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery announce that New York City is setting a goal to screen and treat all pregnant women and new mothers for maternal depression. Bellevue Hospital Atrium, Manhattan. Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Credit: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office.First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery announce that New York City is setting a goal to screen and treat all pregnant women and new mothers for maternal depression. Bellevue Hospital Atrium, Manhattan. Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Credit: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office.

New York, NY - First lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery announced the initiative Tuesday.

As a first step, the city’s public hospitals and Maimonides Medical Center have set a two-year deadline to screen all new mothers for depression and connect them with mental health treatment, if needed.

The Greater New York Hospital Association also will add mental health services for new mothers at its hospitals.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says screening for maternal depression “should be a part of routine care.”

McCray, who has dedicated herself to improving mental health services for New Yorkers, says too many pregnant women and new mothers don’t get the attention they should and that they’re afraid to seek help “because they worry about being judged.”

“More than 10,000 women in New York will suffer postpartum depression and its devastating consequences next year. We owe it to them, their children and our communities to provide the kind of care that can guarantee their families a healthy start; the kind of care we’d want for our own moms. That care starts with screening and identification and it’s a great way to ThriveNYC,” said Pam Brier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maimonides Medical Center. 

“This bold, timely initiative from First Lady Chirlane McCray is welcomed by OHEL as a means to further strengthen women, families and all communities. While maternal depression is treatable, for too long it has been stigmatized, severely impacting the well-being of mothers, their children and other family members. That the majority of women suffering from postpartum and related mental health illnesses can be effectively managed makes Ms. McCray’s statement all the more powerful. Healthier mothers raising healthier children will make for healthier communities. OHEL looks forward to expanding its existing collaboration with Maimonides Medical Center on this initiative,” said David Mandel, Chief Executive of OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services. 

Signs and symptoms of maternal depression can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include feeling sad, hopeless or overwhelmed; crying a lot; having no energy or motivation; having trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions; sleeping too little or too much; having thoughts about hurting yourself, that something terrible might happen to the baby or that you might hurt the baby, and more. New York City offers a number of supports for pregnant women and new mothers experiencing depression. For more information, click here .

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray at OHEL Children's Home & Family Services Legislative Breakfast that focused on De-Stigmatization of Mental Illness on March 31, 2015NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray at OHEL Children's Home & Family Services Legislative Breakfast that focused on De-Stigmatization of Mental Illness on March 31, 2015

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