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Mental Health American of Greater Houston
News Release
Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Mothers Be Aware of Your Emotions After Delivery
October 5th is National Depression Screening Day

HOUSTON —National Depression Screening Day is October 5, 2017. Held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week, this day is an opportunity for maternal mental health advocates to educate mothers, fathers and the community about mental health, to encourage screening, and to help facilitate better access to treatment by connecting individuals to support services.

“It is especially important for new parents to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression. Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth,” said Tiffany Ross, director of education and outreach at Mental Health America of Greater Houston.

Approximately 11-20% of women will experience postpartum depression after giving birth. Though treatable, postpartum depression is a complex condition that can affect the entire family.

“Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between postpartum depression and the normal stress and exhaustion of being a new mother. But if your feelings are so powerful that they prevent you from being able to do your daily tasks, such as taking care of yourself and others, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional,” said Molly LaFauci, board member and Treasures of Texas chair at Mental Health America of Greater Houston.

Many women experience a change of mood called “baby blues” in the weeks after giving birth. However, if symptoms last longer or are more severe, it could be postpartum depression.

“Postpartum depression can look different for everyone, and mother’s emotions in the weeks and months after delivery are especially important. One woman’s experience may include just a few symptoms while others may have more severe symptoms,” said Ross.

Common symptoms of postpartum depression include (but are not limited to):

• Feeling sad, tired, or having a short temper
• Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
• Changes in eating patterns
• Problems sleeping, even when the baby is sleeping
• Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with her baby
Only a licensed health or mental health care professional can diagnose postpartum depression.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston makes available the free brochure, Your Emotions After Delivery, an information and resource guide that includes a self-screening tool that mothers can use as they speak with their doctor or a mental health professional about their concerns.  For a free copy, visit and select FIND HELP.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston, established in 1954, is the area’s longest serving mental health education and advocacy organization. In celebration of women’s mental health, nationally-revered psychiatrist, Lucy J. Puryear, M.D. will receive the Ima Hogg Award—the organization’s highest tribute given in honor of its founder on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at the Treasures of Texas chaired by Molly and Matt LaFauci and honorary chairs Maureen and Jim Hackett.

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