The DHSS’ statewide Family Helpline (1-800-328-3838) is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions about perinatal mood disorders (PMDs) and connect callers to available resources.
DHSS launched the Speak Up When You’re Down campaign in 2005 to encourage mothers experiencing symptoms of PPD to seek medical help and to reduce the social stigma associated with depression. When Governor Jon Corzine signed the Postpartum Depression Screening bill in 2006, the campaign expanded to assist healthcare providers in implementing the new law, and to educate women and family members about the benefits of screening. New Jersey became the first state in the nation to require that health care professionals educate and screen all new mothers for PPD.
PPD can affect any woman who has recently had a baby, ended a pregnancy, miscarried, or who has stopped breast-feeding. One woman in eight will experience PPD. In New Jersey between 11,000 and 16,000 women suffer from PPD every year.
Signs of perinatal depression include crying; feelings of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness; and lack of interest in family and friends.
Talking about PMDs is the first step. If you or someone you know may be suffering from postpartum depression or other perinatal mood disorders, go to njspeakup.gov or call 1-800-328-3838 for additional information and services.