Governor Cuomo Signs Maternal Depression Bill

New law will increase screening for PPD and other postpartum mood disorders

New York State has taken a huge step forward in supporting women and families today. Governor Cuomo just signed into law the Maternal Depression Screening bill, which will provide much-needed support for women experiencing depression during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. The bill provides screening guidelines and referral resources to health care practitioners — such as OB/GYNs, midwives, and pediatricians — who encounter women in the first year after giving birth.

Today's signing is possible largely because of the work of one advocate, Paige Bellenbaum. A PPD survivor, social worker, and mother to two, Paige effectively organized a broad group of supporters to advocate for the bill’s creation and signing, and we are grateful for her dedication and commitment to improving mental health care for mothers. 

Over the next months the Seleni Institute will act in partnership with other New York-based organizations to coordinate the training and referral programs needed to implement this bill. We are all working toward a day when the diagnosis and effective treatment of maternal depression is considered part of providing comprehensive health care to women and families.

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