Patrick administration forms PPD Commission
BOSTON When Gov. Patrick created the Massachusetts Commission on Postpartum Depression (PPD), he wanted to ensure representation from Western Massachusetts experts who work with mothers. He appointed two area professionals, Liz Friedman, program director of MotherWoman and Donna L. O’Shea, M.D., medical director of Health New England.
The Commission, co-chaired by State Rep. Ellen Story and State Sen. Thomas M. McGee, is charged with making recommendations to the Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts State Legislature on advancing best practices regarding PPD screening, treatment and public and professional education.
MotherWoman is a local non-profit serving Hampshire, Franklin, Berkshire and Hampden Counties. MotherWoman’s Community-based Perinatal Support Model (CPSM) is being implemented throughout the region and is being enthusiastically received by medical providers, mental health clinicians and mothers as an effective way to address the very critical issue of perinatal mood disorders. The nonprofit’s goal is to create a comprehensive safety net for all mothers who are experiencing postpartum depression or other perinatal emotional complications.
Friedman, one of the current appointees to the Commission, suffered a severe perinatal emotional crisis after the birth of her first child nine years ago. Having received little help from her medical and mental health providers, she organized an active support community in Rhode Island for women with similar challenges, and went on to develop MotherWoman’s Perinatal Support Initiative.