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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

COUNTY EXECUTIVE PROCLAIMS MAY 31, 2018 AS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION AND PERINATAL MOOD AND ANXIETY DISORDERS COMMUNITY HEALTH EDUCATION DAY


NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announce that the Better Baby Care Campaign of Rockland County, a coalition of Rockland County family-centered organizations, are observing Mental Health Awareness Month by focusing on Postpartum Depression and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders.

On Thursday, May 31 a Community Health Education Day will be observed throughout the county with awareness events hosted by campaign partners. The Rockland County Department of Health encourages all agencies to participate in this day by talking with clients, sharing information, and promoting an awareness of postpartum depression and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

The Rockland County Department of Health will have a display and educational information and materials at the Health Department's Building A rotunda area, second floor, located at 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona. Everyone living or working in Rockland, including community and faith-based organizations, are invited to come learn more about the topic and learn about available resources to address these issues.

"Postpartum Depression and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders describe a wide range of emotional disorders a woman can experience during pregnancy and after the birth of a child. It is important to identify and address these issues early to avoid suffering and later problems," said Dr. Ruppert.

Infants and children living among others who are experiencing depression are likely to show impaired social interactions and delays in development. Addressing perinatal depression and related disorders in a timely fashion is essential to helping protect a child's healthy early brain and overall development.

County Executive Day proclaimed May 31 as Postpartum Depression and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Community Health Education Day in Rockland. "Every infant and child in Rockland County deserves the best opportunity to grow up healthy and have the best chance to succeed. This day is an opportunity for Rocklanders to take part in educational activities and spread awareness of postpartum depression and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and spread a message of hope and help to families who may be struggling," said County Executive Day.

"This is the beginning of our enhanced efforts, through the Better Baby Care Campaign of Rockland County, to increase awareness of this issue, increase the screening of at-risk women by all health care providers, such as ob-gyns, pediatricians, lactation and WIC counselors, and in our Health Department clinics, and then connecting those in need to appropriate referrals," said Dr. Ruppert.

According to the Postpartum Resource Center of New York, recent research has shown that at least 10% of pregnant women will experience depression/anxiety. Symptoms may include crying, sleep problems, appetite changes, loss in enjoyment of activities, and obsessive thoughts and worries. Women with these symptoms are at risk for postpartum depression. Every year more than 400,000 infants in the United States are born to mothers who are depressed, making this the most underdiagnosed complication of pregnancy in this country. Issues can include perinatal and postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after the birth of a child, help is available. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. You can also visit http://rocklandgov.com/departments/mental-health/. For more information, visit the Postpartum Resource Center of New York's website https://postpartumny.org/ or call their toll-free helpline at (855) 631-0001.