Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

MOTHERS Act: Online Petition Needs Your Signature

My blogging buddy, Katherine Stone, over at “Postpartum Progress” asked me to urge all Beyond Blue readers to sign the online petition for the MOTHERS Act that was put together by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
The US Senate has been hearing from so many people opposing the MOTHERS Act (mainly Scientologists and like-minded people who were telling the Senate that the MOTHERS Act is an effort to drug America’s mothers) that the bill was completely stalled and in danger of not coming to a vote.
The people at DBSA have put up an online petition to get signatures from people who support the MOTHERS Act. Katherine goes into detail in her post “MOTHERS Act Losing Momentum—Online Petition Needs Your Signature” which you can get to my clicking here.
They have 11,000 signatures. Katherine and advocates want 100,000.
Says Katherine:


We need lots of signers … people who believe in the importance of more funding for research into the cause of postpartum mood disorders, better training of healthcare providers and more awareness to reduce stigma.

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Click this link and sign this petition to support passage of the MBS MOTHERS Act. It is as easy as pie. Thanks to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance for getting the petition going. All you have to do is fill out your name and address and click send, and it will be sent all the proper places. The petition is also supported by Postpartum Support International.
2. Forward the petition link to everyone you know and tell them to sign their name to it as well.
Says Katherine:


We need thousands of people to do this. Not just a few hundred. Seriously, thousands. Please get clicking. And if you have a website, or an organization of proactive women and moms, or a blog, please get your readers/members involved ASAP.

In case you’re wondering, here is a list of the respected organizations that endorse the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act:
Postpartum Support International
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Children’s Defense Fund
March of Dimes
American College of Nurse Midwives
Suicide Prevention Action Network USA
Mental Health America
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Women’s Law Center
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
American Psychological Association
American Psychiatric Association
Postpartum Resource Center of New York
If you would like to add your organization to this list, please e-mail Katherine at this address:
Thank you!!!

  • Janie

    Might this not tell you anything? I would have to say that drugs are not good for babies and not good for moms, I think some people without even realizing the dangers of drugs would choose a drug addicted society and to me that is just wrong. Go tell the moms that have lost their children to drugs, the moms that have some how managed to kill their kids while on these drugs, the moms who have lost kids to suicide and homocides because of these drugs just how good you think this treatment is! I feel really sorry for the lot of you. Truthfully and I am not a scientologist. There is just nothing good that these treatments or drugs do much more could be done if our society took the time to show real and honest and caring support to moms and their kids, they don’t! Everyone is too busy trying to keep up with the Jones, we have forgotten about reality.

  • Katherine Stone

    There are as many risks to the mothers and children in not taking medication, or getting some form of effective treatment aside from meds, as there are to taking it. People forget this every day. Children can be profoundly affected by their mothers’ experiencing postpartum mood disorders, both behaviorally and otherwise. This is proven in tons and tons of research.
    Might we do better if our society took better care of its new moms — perhaps. I’d certainly like to think so. But we can’t wait around for that to happen. We can’t ignore the devastating plight that hundreds of thousands of women are going through RIGHT NOW. And, if you read the wording of the bill, it will become very clear to you that drugs are not mentioned or recommended or encouraged or pushed or anything else. Conspiracy theories and unfounded fears can’t and won’t prevent me from supporting women with postpartum mood disorders.

  • elizabeth

    If only I had had this treatment available to me when my babies were babies. I will never know what difference it would have made in our relationships — but I do know, because I am now getting treatment for my depressions, that I would have not spent half of their first years in tears and hiding under covers.
    And I am glad that my children, now that they have had children, are taking advantage of medications and are much more functioniol as mommimes than I was as a result.
    and Janie, I feel sorry for the children who have been hurt because the mothers did not have medication and did not know how to deal with all the stress of having babies. And acted out in ways that hurt thier children as a result of NOT taking medications. Like the mother in Texas who drowned her children, whose husband had refused to let her take her medications . . . and there are other horror stories as well where people have refused treatment and have hurt themselves or others, because they thought the drugs were dangerous — for me not taking the medications is dangerous.

  • Barbara formerly Babs

    Janie – You might have read the article and gone to the website before commenting. The Act supports more research into postpartum depression. To follow your line of reasoning, diabetics wouldn’t need insulin if society was more supportive of diabetics. Give me a break. Why should depression, especially postpartum depression, which harms the mother/child bond, and sometimes results in maternal suicide, be treated as though it were a character flaw? Your reasoning is flawed and dangerous.


    Our mothers need to be supported not stigmatized and made to feel guilty because they have problems dealing with their new baby. I have always been blessed with an extended family who were willing and able to help by giving me a break and time to myself, good advise which included medication to help with the depression. My son is grown now and I no longer take the medication but I am glad I did. I believe that my relationship with my son would be much different if I had not. So I am signing the petition and I hope and pray many more will do so.

  • E.D. C.

    Dear Therese,
    I will immediately sign the petition to support passage of those suffering from Postpartum Depression, a very real and disabling disease.
    May I bring up another subject? This could be very controversial…I have just contacted NAMI “Stigmabusters” about it, too…it’s about the Oprah show! Which I love. But I’m concerned….
    As you may know, the Oprah show is featuring the work of Eckhart Tolle: “A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” on its Monday night shows, and on its podcasts and website. I believe the work of Oprah is overall so exceptional, generous and loving. Basically what she and Eckhart are doing is very uplifting to the world. And Mr. Tolle does indeed appear to be such a “holy man,” and so well versed in evolved spiritual direction.
    BUT….for the show featuring Chapter 8, I believe, they discussed all the unhappy people in America, and, to paraphrase, the tendency of Americans to rush to take a pill to solve anything. And Eckhart said that in “extreme” cases it might be necessary, but for the most part, (and this is a paraphrase): people need to learn to get over the voices in their heads, and their own personal pain, by moving beyond their ego and their past personal “pain body.”…and living in the moment, and shifting their way of thinking…
    Then they featured two call-in guests, one of whom had an eating disorder and the other who described herself as “overly sensitive”, and Eckhart and Oprah tried to dispense advice to these two individuals.
    Why does this concern me? As we know, depression is one of the most UNDERTREATED and misunderstood disorders in the world, causing intense pain and suffering. Most people need to be educated about what depression is, BOTH unipolar and bipolar depression, and that there is real help out there for them, in the form of a combination of medication, talk therapy, good nutrition and exercise.
    But to tell many depressed people that they can cure their unhappiness by merely changing their thinking…without the other components in place…is not realistic, and may indeed add to their suffering.
    Suicide is one of the highest causes of death for our population, and certainly for our adolescents. This is a real tragedy, and a public health disaster. The majority of suicide is caused by undiagnosed and untreated brain disorders.
    We so often use the example of the person who has diabetes…that they no longer can control their pancreas, but should follow a balanced regimen of medication, diet, and exercise. We don’t blame the diabetic…or the heart disease sufferer…or the cancer patient anymore…so why must we continually put the sufferer of depression in a defensive posture…that their problems will be solved only by thinking differently? Or they are weak for immediately wanted to “pop a pill”?
    You may listen to Chapter 8 on What do you think?

  • Margaret Balyeat

    Thank you for giving us this opportunity to take simple, affordable action, Therese! I’ve alreasdy signed and sent it on to several others I believe will also. T. Cruise et al can gp to HE** How many more instances of mothers killing children do we need to see this threat for what it really is as a nation?

  • Blanche

    I hate to think what could have had happened, had my daughter not taken Zoloft after my grandson’s birth. She didn’t know what was wrong with her until she spoke to her ob/gyn doctor about her feelings. The short time she was on it helped her tremendously. Now that she’s pregnant again, she’ll monitor her mood, and if she needs it again, she’ll go for it. Then she, her busband, her son, and her family will sleep better at night.
    If “society” could cure all the mental health disorders in the world, we would not have been given science and skilled practioners by God. We are His asset MANAGERS, not owners.

  • Larry Parker

    I didn’t comment before because honestly, I thought working against postpartum depression was like baseball, apple pie and, well, motherhood. (It’s a particularly salient cause here in New Jersey, where the former First Lady of the state had to be hospitalized twice with postpartum.)
    But I guess not, given the first comment.
    Anyway, my real concern is with EDC’s comment. The Tolle book has gotten enormous play thanks to Oprah, but from what I can tell it’s really no different than Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” (which Oprah also highly endorsed).
    One BBer reported literally retching (and obviously, putting down the book for good) at the comments EDC describes. She had wanted to give “A New Earth” a chance, despite it seeming like “The Secret,” because Byrne wasn’t the author so she thought Tolle would take a different approach. Obviously not.
    Patton Dodd, Beliefnet’s own Christianity editor, is one of the best advocates on our behalf for how such beliefs are truly dangerous for those of us with mental illnesses.

  • angel7

    This is another great blog.
    After I had my Children in 1977, I went to lots of Dr.’s and nobody could help me with my Depression. Physical symptoms, tired all the time and just plain living in a big dark cave.
    Thank God new Mother’s can get help and know what they have, and get treated.
    Depression kills.
    Where do we sign?
    Of course, I was stigmatized and still am being stigmatized.
    How do we get rid of being labeled for the rest of our lives?
    Can anyone related to that and give some advice?
    Blessings to All….

  • Liz

    This is a comment on the comment about extreme cases of depression. I agree there is something to be looked at more deeply here. I have struggled with bipolar depression for years and been on and off medication. I have been off medication for four years, and two years ago the Eckhart work did change my life. I have read the books and I listen to everything I can get my hands on as often as possible to keep the information flowing through my brain. Most recently, however, after the end of a five year relationship with a person I still love, I feel more deeply depressed than ever before in my life. I am completely unable to leave my apartment. I know what to do to restore my friendliness with the present moment, but I don’t have the will to do it again because I was doing so well and then fell in this hole after two years. How can we get our non-functioning brains to behave in a way that will bring us relief? It’s like trying to jump-start a vehicle…medication seems to be a way to get the car started.

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