Thursday
Jan292015

Massachusetts State House Hosts -- Bringing Postpartum Depression into the Light: Decreasing Stigma, Supporting Families and Implementing Policy Change in MA

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 1, 2015
Liz Friedman
MotherWoman Program Director
liz@motherwoman.org
413-387-0703
 
Massachusetts State House Hosts -- Bringing Postpartum Depression into the Light: Decreasing Stigma, Supporting Families and Implementing Policy Change in MA

Rep. Ellen Story has led the state-wide PPD Commission that will bring this event to the State House

• MotherWoman’s Program Director, Liz Friedman will be one of the speakers at the event. MotherWoman has played a pivotal role at the state-level in addressing perinatal emotional complications

The event will be held on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 from 12:00pm – 3:30pm in the Great Hall of the State House, located at 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 01233.
 
Hadley, MA --- “Even though the odds of developing postpartum depression (PPD) were stacked against me, I still didn’t think it could happen to me. And then it hit. HARD. I felt as if I had jumped out of an airplane with no parachute and all I could do was wait for rock bottom to arrive – but rock bottom never did. I just kept falling. To make matters worse none of my health care providers knew how to deal with it because they had minimal training. They did not know if community resources existed. They did not know about the high rates of PPD. Essentially, they did not know how to help me. But thankfully the MA Postpartum Depression Commission does. I look forward to a time when all moms receive the support and care they need during this difficult period,” said Massachusetts mom, Elizabeth Reinke, RN.
 
“We are told having a baby is supposed to be a time of great joy. For many it brings on emotions never felt before. It is a devastating experience to feel like there is no hope. Mother’s should feel surrounded by support. It is critical we educate and empower mothers in our communities to feel strength in a time that can be extremely scary,” said Jamie Belsito, Mom from Beverly. Jamie Belsito will be speaking at the event.

Mother’s with lived experience and committed leaders from across the state are gathering in Boston at the MA State House on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 to raise awareness about the very critical issue of postpartum depression (PPD). Research shows 10 – 20% of mothers experience postpartum depression. These numbers drastically increase when additional risk factors like poverty, domestic violence, addiction and teen pregnancy are taken into consideration. In 2012, there were 72,457 births in Massachusetts. Thus, 7,245 – 14,491 mothers were at risk for or experiencing postpartum depression statewide. When undiagnosed and untreated, postpartum depression can have severe negative effects on mother, infant and birth outcomes, including infant low birth weight and social, emotional and cognitive developmental challenges to babies and children. This can result in an increase in medical expenses, visits to the ER and loss of income to families.

Though PPD is such an alarming issue effecting both mothers and families, there is hope in Massachusetts. Big things are happening statewide that allow communities and leaders to better support mothers at risk for or experiencing PPD. The MA Commission on PPD, co-chaired by Rep. Ellen Story (Amherst) and Senator Thomas M. McGee (Lynn), is charged with making recommendations to the Department of Public Health and the MA State Legislature on advancing best practices regarding PPD screening, treatment and public and professional education.  Additionally, newly published PPD regulations for MA will promote screening and reporting for this issue. The Department of Public Health has issued regulations for health care providers (obstetricians, gynecologists, nurse midwives and family care practitioners) that screen for PPD within six months postpartum to report screening. The DPH also mandated insurance carriers that receive PPD screening claims to also report.

“I have been leading the PPD Commission for four years and am pleased with the successes we have accomplished so far. We must continue to raise awareness and address barriers to care for the detection and treatment of mothers experiencing postpartum depression,” said Representative Ellen Story (D – Amherst).  
MCPAP for Moms, a new program since July 2014, promotes maternal and child health by building the capacity of providers serving pregnant and postpartum women and their children up to one year after delivery to effectively prevent, identify and manage PPD.
 
“Pediatricians have been leading the charge for improving postpartum depression because we understand the importance of providers working together to create change for both the health of mothers and their families. I am pleased to be involved in raising awareness to this issue. MCPAP for Moms is an excellent program ensuring that providers are well informed and have access to the necessary resources so that we can care for families appropriately” quoted John H. Straus, M.D., Founding Director, Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP).

MotherWoman, a non-profit organization located in Hadley, MA supports and empowers mothers to create personal and social change by building community safety nets, impacting family policy and promoting the leadership and resilience of mothers.  MotherWoman had been actively working to improve perinatal mental health for over 15 years. MotherWoman, in partnership with and funded by MCPAP for Moms, is currently implementing their Community-based Perinatal Support Model© (CPSM) in six communities across MA – Cape & Islands, Greater Lynn, Greater New Bedford, South Shore, Springfield and Worcester. The goal of the CPSM is to support community capacity by expanding resources, increasing provider competence and promoting mothers' inherent resilience at all points of provider contact from the first prenatal visit through the one-year well-child check. As a result of implementation of the CPSM in these six communities, four perinatal mental health coalitions have been strengthened, two have been formed, over 250 providers have received specialized perinatal mental health training and seven new MotherWoman Support Groups are being formed in MA. MotherWoman looks forward to this opportunity to not only bring more attention to PPD and improve outcomes for mothers and families in our community but also across the state. For more information on how to bring perinatal mental health resource’s to your community contact us at motherwoman.org.

MotherWoman will proudly join other communities from around the state at the MA State House to bring attention to postpartum depression and urge legislators to prioritize this issue. 
“Postpartum depression is really a community issue. Everyone involved with mom and baby from pregnancy through the first year can help support mothers and provide much needed resources. We are pleased to help communities create comprehensive safety nets for mothers at risk for or experiencing PPD,” said Liz Friedman, Program Director, MotherWoman.  Liz Friedman will be speaking at the event.

In partnership with MotherWoman local communities have been actively working to improve perinatal emotional complications. After just 18 months of implementing the CPSM, Franklin County saw significant change across systems of care. Over 90% of mothers were engaged in education, screening and referral as needed. They held eight perinatal depression professional trainings which allowed over 200 providers to receive more specialized training on the issue. Franklin Co. formed  a postpartum depression support group and universal screening is being implemented in OB, pediatrics, social services, and in patient. They developed resource and referral mechanisms, crisis protocols and triage protocols. Finally, mental health and hospital policies are systemized across practices. As part of the CPSM, Baystate Health and Springfield perinatal mental health leaders gathered for a community conversation to begin discussing expansion of the existing efforts being implemented. Baystate Medical Center (BMC) PPD Coalition is working to break down the silos of care and ensure that all mothers receive necessary care and treatment. The BMC PPD Coalition is transforming the labor and delivery floor with plans to provide professional education and implement universal screening. Additionally, the BMC PPD Coalition is in the planning stages of a new perinatal mental health support group.

“As Senate Chair of the Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse and a member of the Massachusetts Postpartum Depression Commission, I have heard from both maternal mental health professionals and mothers who experienced PPD about the supports currently in place and the resources desired to help treat PPD. The first-ever PPD awareness day at the State House will provide an excellent forum for all constituencies involved with this issue to raise awareness and promote the changes they would like to see,” said Senator Joan Lovely (D – Salem).

“When the expectation exists that a new mother will function as she did before the baby was born, the kind of attentiveness an infant requires will not only be challenging, it may be impossible. Faced with this expectation, many mothers feel very much alone. In contrast, when as a community we listen to and support new mothers, we support healthy growth and development of the whole family,” said Dr. Claudia M. Gold. Dr. Gold, pediatrician, writer, and director of the Early Childhood Social Emotional Health Program at Newton Wellesley Hospital, will be the keynote at the event. 

For information regarding this event please contact Anna Roy at anna.roy@masenate.gov or visit http://on.fb.me/1Eo5biS
 

About MotherWoman

MotherWoman’s mission is to support and empower mothers to create positive personal and social change for themselves, their families, their communities and the world. MotherWoman also addresses the socio-economic issues facing American mothers by advocating for family-friendly policy. MotherWoman seeks to create a culture that understands and de-stigmatizes screening and treatment of perinatal emotional complications. MotherWoman promotes evidence-informed models in prevention, detection, and treatment of perinatal emotional complications by addressing barriers to care. MotherWoman, is committed to ensuring that ALL mothers in the Commonwealth have information and education, access to resources, and proper care when faced with perinatal emotional complications. MotherWoman has successfully trained many medical and mental health professionals, as well as Support Group facilitators, within various communities across the state to implement this vision.

For more information visit www.motherwoman.org

About MCPAP for Moms:

MCPAP for Moms is an exciting new statewide program designed to bridge the gap between mothers and their limited access to mental health resources and support needed to address perinatal depression. It is an expansion of the successful Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP), which has improved child mental health care in Massachusetts by offering pediatric primary care providers rapid access to child psychiatry consultation, education, and care coordination. MCPAP for Moms aims to promote maternal and child health by building the capacity of providers serving pregnant and postpartum women and their children up to one year after delivery to effectively prevent, identify, and manage depression. MCPAP for Moms provides real-time, perinatal psychiatric consultation and care coordination for obstetric, pediatric, primary care and psychiatric providers to effectively prevent, identify, and manage depression and other mental health concerns in pregnant and postpartum women.

For more information visit www.mcpapformoms.org

For More Information on MA Department of Public Health PPD Regulations visit http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/laws-regs/dph/proposed-regulations/postpartum-depression-screening-and-reporting.html 

For more information contact:
                 
Liz Friedman
413-387-0703
Liz@motherwoman.org

 

Wednesday
May212014

MotherWoman Announces Six Massachusetts Communities to Receive Community-based Perinatal Support Model© Brockton, Cape Cod, Lynn, New Bedford, Springfield, and Worcester

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—May 19, 2014

Liz Friedman
MotherWoman Program Director
liz@motherwoman.org
413-658-8231

 

MotherWoman Announces Six Massachusetts Communities to Receive Community-based Perinatal Support Model©
Brockton, Cape Cod, Lynn, New Bedford, Springfield, and Worcester 

 Hadley, MA— MotherWoman, a nonprofit organization aimed at creating community safety nets for mothers at risk for or experiencing perinatal emotional complications like depression and anxiety, is extending the Community-based Perinatal Support Model© (CPSM) to six communities across the state to address the issue of perinatal depression. The expansion of the CPSM will ensure that thousands more mothers and families can receive the support they need when they experience perinatal emotional complications. The CPSM provides communities with the tools they need to create a comprehensive safety net for mothers across systems including medical, mental health, social service and community programs.  Funding for this project is made available through the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP).  MCPAP is expanding the successful psychiatry access program for pediatric providers to address the issues of maternal mental health.  MCPAP for Moms, the new program, will provide psychiatric referral services for maternal medical care providers and pediatric providers.  The CPSM is a key component of the MCPAP for Moms expansion, supporting communities to address the issues of perinatal depression in communities across MA.

"I had thought postpartum depression couldn't happen to me. When I was experiencing a severe postpartum crisis, my healthcare providers did not know how to help me, nor could they direct me to community resources. It was scary and disempowering, until I found MotherWoman. The MotherWoman support group truly saved my life, and also directed me to providers who helped me recover.  I am looking forward to the time when all moms will be screened for postpartum depression, just as we get screened for gestational diabetes and other possible complications.” - Liz Reinke, MotherWoman Support Group participant.

Research shows that 10 – 20% of mothers experience postpartum depression. These numbers drastically increase when additional risk factors like poverty, domestic violence, addiction and teen pregnancy are taken into consideration. When undiagnosed and untreated, postpartum depression can have severe negative effects on mother, infant and birth outcomes, including infant low birth weight and social, emotional and cognitive developmental challenges to babies and children. This results in an increase in medical expenses, visits to the ER and loss of income to families. This demonstrates the importance of addressing perinatal emotional complications and expanding the CPSM statewide. MotherWoman has already demonstrated the impact the CPSM can make on a community ready to address perinatal emotional complications through their work with Franklin County. Within 18 months of implementing the CPSM, Franklin County saw significant change in coalition development, public education, professional training, community resources/support groups, screening, and referral/triage protocol, all aimed to improve maternal mental health.

The success in Franklin County demonstrates the importance of implementing the CPSM in additional communities to increase available resources to address perinatal emotional complications and allows for mothers to receive the necessary care and treatment they need to improve maternal and family outcomes. Expanding the CPSM within these six communities will ensure that mothers and families have access to essential resources to improve perinatal emotional complications.

“MotherWoman is thrilled to bring the CPSM to new communities across Massachusetts. The CPSM has demonstrated great success within the communities already implementing it. We know that when communities implement the CPSM they are able to address barriers to care like stigma, lack of training, and public education by helping care providers join together in identifying the needs of women with perinatal emotional complications.  MotherWoman is committed to providing mothers and families with the care and treatment necessary for recovery in communities across the Commonwealth” said Shannon Koehn, Executive Director of MotherWoman.

Recipients of the Community-based Perinatal Support Model© will be provided with resources and training to create community coalitions which in turn will expand professional trainings for providers, identify and expand community resources, and ultimately create a system of care that allows for easy referral for mothers when they need it the most. The recipient communities were selected through a competitive Request For Proposal Process.  The CPSM has three main goals:

  1. To increase knowledge of perinatal emotional complications among all service care providers (mental health, human service, medical) and introduce communities to the CPSM.
  2. To create integrated, community-based safety nets for mothers at risk for or experiencing perinatal emotional complications through the implementation of the CPSM.
  3. To increase access to mental health care for women and families through a network of statewide support groups.

Under MotherWoman’s leadership, community leaders will be trained to develop this model in their own communities to fit their needs. The six communities include: the Baystate High Street Health Center-Pediatrics in Springfield, Cape Cod Child Development serving Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, the Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness, Lynn Community Health Center, South Bay Mental Health-Brockton, and UMass Medical School/UMass Memorial Healthcare-OBGYN in Worcester.

  • Baystate High Street Health Center Pediatrics (BHSHC-Peds) provides primary care to infants, children, and adolescents in Springfield. With a particular interest in toxic stress, BHSHC-Peds understands the importance of including pediatric providers in the screening, care and treatment for mothers and families experiencing perinatal emotional complications.
  • Cape Cod Child Development provides primary care to infants, children, and adolescents in Springfield. With a particular interest in toxic stress, BHSHC-Peds understands the importance of including pediatric providers in the screening, care and treatment for mothers and families experiencing perinatal emotional complications.
  • Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness, Inc. reaches an ethnically diverse population with a large portion of the population living in poverty, particularly important in implementing the CPSM due to the unique barriers addressed by this community. 
  • Lynn Community Health Center provides primary medical, behavioral health, eye care, and dental services to the diverse and medically underserved community of Lynn, MA. The OB/GYN team provides comprehensive Women's Health, Prenatal and Post-partum care that includes on-site behavioral health and case management support for all women.
  • South Bay Mental Health Brockton reaches an extremely diverse population and understands the importance of addressing the societal and cultural barriers mothers experience when seeking care and treatment for addressing perinatal emotional complications.
  • UMass Medical School/UMass Memorial Healthcare-OBGYN is the primary referral for high risk pregnancies and deliveries in Central MA. UMass Memorial Healthcare-OBGYN will be able to reach a particularly vulnerable population of mothers due to the increased risk factors associated with high risk pregnancies and complicated deliveries and perinatal emotional complications.

 “We are honored to receive the opportunity to enhance our community knowledge and resources aimed at improving perinatal emotional complications. BHSHC-Peds has specific interest in toxic stress, which includes the impact maternal mental health may have on a child’s developmental and behavioral outcomes.  We are so excited to provide our community with additional resources that will support mothers and improve family outcomes” said Annamarie Golden, Manager, Community Relations and Community Benefit, Baystate Health.

 “We are particularly aware of the long term consequences for mothers and families that experience perinatal emotional complications and the stigma associated with maternal mental health. We are honored to have to have the opportunity to work with MotherWoman and improve access to care and decrease the stigma associated with perinatal emotional complications within our community,” said Mary Wilson, Coordinator, Cape and Islands Maternal Depression Task Force.

“We are so honored to have the opportunity to bring the CPSM to New Bedford. Our community has been working on improving perinatal emotional complications for a number of years. However, we are confident in the success we will see in bringing an even more collaborative approach to our community and expanding the resources available to mothers experiencing perinatal emotional complications,” said Barbara Acksen, Chair, Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness, Inc.

“This is a great opportunity that will allow the health center to better serve women in our community who face barriers to care that include poverty, lack of transportation, isolation, domestic violence, substance abuse, homelessness, and language barriers.  These challenges put our patients at a significantly higher risk for perinatal emotional complications.  We look forward to working with our community partners to implement a program that provides support, opportunity and empowers mothers in the community,” stated Dr. Alex Kochowiec, OB/GYN  Medical Director, Lynn Community Health Center. 

“The announcement from Mother Woman of their six awards for the Community-based Perinatal Support Model has demonstrated their commitment to the residents and families of Massachusetts.  South Bay Mental Health is pleased to be part of this clinical initiative and award recipient for the Brockton area.  We understand the importance of maternal depression on mother-infant interactions, parenting practices, and the long term consequences associated with it.  We are hopeful the CPSM can bring us closer to making sure all mothers receive the care and treatment they need and we will have a long term positive impact on families within Massachusetts,” said Michael L. Pelletier, President and Chief Operating Officer, South Bay Mental Health Center Brockton.

 “UMass Memorial Healthcare-OBGYN is thrilled to bring this model to Worcester. It is our goal to improve screening and overcome the barriers many mothers experiencing perinatal emotional complications report in receiving care and treatment. We know we can have success with the help of the CPSM,” said Mary Elizabeth Gamache, CNM, NP, UMass Memorial Healthcare-OBGYN.

“We know MCPAP for Moms, which is a psychiatry referral program for providers caring for mother and children benefits from partnering with communities to gain the highest level of success. Therefore, we find it important to incorporate programs like the CPSM that promote community coalitions and active involvement of community leaders. There is no wrong door. We want every woman to get the services she needs,” said Dr. John Straus, Senior Executive of MCPAP.

About MotherWoman:
MotherWoman builds a culture of support for mothers and families by:

  • Training community leaders and professional who facilitate groups to support and empower mothers to become strong and resilient leaders.
  • Training medical, mental health and social service professionals about the need for integrated support for maternal emotional health.
  • Using their nationally recognized Community-based Perinatal Support Model to develop regional multi-disciplinary coalitions.
  • Working with partner organizations to educate parents and caregivers on policies that impact families.

For more information contact:
Liz Friedman
413-387-0703
liz@motherwoman.org

Tuesday
May132014

5/13/14 - MotherWoman Receives Statewide Award Acknowledging their Accomplishments Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of MA presents MotherWoman with Partners Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—May 13, 2014

Liz Friedman
MotherWoman Program Director
liz@motherwoman.org
413-658-8231

MotherWoman Receives Statewide Award Acknowledging their Accomplishments
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of MA presents MotherWoman with Partners Award

Hadley, MA - MotherWoman was recently selected for the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Partner Award for their contributions in the area of maternal and child health in the state of Massachusetts. The Mission of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies is to improve the health and safety of mothers, babies, and families through educational materials and collaborative partnerships. “This award is given to an individual or organization embodying the spirit of our Coalition’s mission and vision; improving the quality of care for mothers, babies, and families. MotherWoman is an exceptional organization that provides communities with the tools to change outcomes for mothers. We are thrilled to acknowledge the work MotherWoman has been committed to in improving outcomes for mothers and families,” said Mara Acel-Green, President, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Massachusetts.

MotherWoman is honored to be selected for this award and to be recognized for their dedication to support and empower mothers and families. MotherWoman received this award based on their excellent progress in Massachusetts. The mission of MotherWoman is to empower mothers to make positive personal and social change by building community safety nets, impacting family policy and promoting the leadership and resilience of mothers. This is accomplished by supporting and empowering mothers and by training community leaders and professionals to lead MotherWoman Support Groups across the region. MotherWoman partners with communities in building community safety nets for women and families during the perinatal period though implementation of their Community-based Perinatal Support Model©. Also, MotherWoman impacts family policy by engaging mothers, partners, caregivers, and communities to take action on policies that affect families like Earned Paid Sick Time, Living Wage issues, family leave and paycheck fairness.

 “Congratulations to MotherWoman for receiving this well-deserved award. They have made a tremendous difference for moms in Western Mass. and across the state. I am proud to be working with them on the PPD Commission, MCPAP for Moms, and other excellent projects,” said Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst), Chairwoman of the Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression. 

“It is an honor to receive this award and be acknowledged for our accomplishments in improving outcomes for mothers and families. We are so grateful to everyone who supports our mission and makes it possible to grow and expand our knowledge and resources across the state,” said Shannon Koehn, Executive Director MotherWoman.

“We know how critical it is for all women to know that there is hope and to have the help that they need when they need it. We know how important it is that there are professionals who don't think that mothers are crazy and know how to provide resources and care. We know how essential it is for providers to have the right knowledge, tools and structural supports to help mothers during the hardest moments. The Community-based Perinatal Support Model partners with communities to reach these goals.  To be acknowledged for the hard work that we’ve done to support communities to make these changes in communities in Western MA is an incredible honor. This is why we are so proud to receive this award,” said Liz Friedman, Program Director, MotherWoman.

Based on their outstanding progress, MotherWoman has received support to expand their programs across the state. With the financial support of the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP), MotherWoman will be expanding their Community-based Perinatal Support Model©, to communities across Massachusetts and will develop community-tailored roadmaps so that newly established coalitions of community leaders and providers can build a solid foundation for mothers to stand on. MotherWoman has developed the Community-based Perinatal Support Model© to ensure that mothers experiencing perinatal depression receive the necessary care and treatment by developing and enhancing resources available within the community

About MotherWoman:

MotherWoman builds a culture of support for mothers and families by:

  • Training community leaders and professional in the MotherWoman Group Model.
  • Training medical, mental health and social service professionals about the need for integrated support for maternal emotional health.
  • Using their nationally recognized Community-based Perinatal Support Model to develop regional multi-disciplinary coalitions.
  • Working with partner organizations to educate parents and caregivers on policies that impact families.

About Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies:
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of Massachusetts believes in:

  • A child’s right to be born healthy and raised in a safe and nurturing environment
  • Equal access to quality health care
  • A collective voice to facilitate change
  • Eliminating health disparities among all populations
  • Cultural competence and respect for diversity
  • Education to encourage healthy choices 

For more information contact:
Liz Friedman
413-387-0703
liz@motherwoman.org

Wednesday
Apr022014

4/2/14 - Celebrating Equal Pay Day for Women: Mothers make 71 Cents on a Man’s Dollar -- Time to Celebrate?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Celebrating Equal Pay Day for Women
Mothers make 71 Cents on a Man’s Dollar -- Time to Celebrate?

Connecticut River Valley Students Partner with MotherWoman to Storm Northampton’s “Arts Night Out” and Advocate Equal Pay for Women.

Contact: Liz Friedman, MotherWoman Program Director 
Cell: (413)-658-2341, Office: (413)-387-0703, Email: liz@motherwoman.org

For Photo Op Contact: Leigh Edwards, Policy and Advocacy Intern 
Cell: 978-895-3827, Email: advocacy@motherwoman.org

Northampton’s “Arts Night Out”, taking place on April 11, 2014, will be filled with Connecticut River Valley Students from Mount Holyoke and other campuses, advocating and educating on Equal Pay Day. Equal Pay Day is a symbolic day that illustrates how far into the year a woman must work to earn the same amount made by a man in the previous year. This year’s Equal Pay Day will be April 8th, 2014, and on the 11th the student advocates will be talking with Northampton attendees of Arts Night Out about Equal Pay Day, and the social issues that inhibit women from being paid equally to their male counterparts. They will be dressed in Americana attire, will hand out balloons, and distribute flyers that highlight the disparities that unequal pay perpetuates. The flyer will contain a link to an online survey regarding policy issues, and those who participate in the survey will be entered into a raffle.  MotherWoman, a local non-profit that works to support mothers and their families, through advocating for public policy, is sponsoring this Equal Pay Day event, while working alongside students in the valley to raise awareness about this pressing issue. 

In 1963, John F. Kennedy passed the “Equal Pay Act” which aimed to end any and all wage discrimination based on a person’s gender, and ultimately promoted equal pay for workers, male and female. Since 1963, the gender wage gap has improved, but has yet to be eradicated entirely. 

Women’s median full-time earnings are 77% of a man’s median full-time earnings; black women’s earnings are 64%; and Latinas earnings are 54%. These disparities in median full-time earnings for women stem from the fact that women are discriminated against, often have to work less due to family responsibilities, and are pigeonholed into the low-wage job sector. On average, women will lose $434,000 during their lifetime due to the wage-gap. This wage-loss could feed a family of four for 37 years, purchase 14 new cars, or could buy two homes.

Women in the United States are burdened with the majority of family responsibilities, and in countries that promote progressive, family-oriented social policies, like paid maternity/paternity leave, flex time and job protection, the wage gap is strikingly lower. Mothers, specifically single mothers of color, are more likely to experience poverty than any other demographic, and this is likely because they are the demographic least supported by policies within the United States. Poverty is known to have detrimental effects on children, as they are more likely to experience malnutrition, will be exposed to a lower-quality education, and are more likely than a child who doesn’t grow up in poverty, to experience poverty themselves. The lack of affordable daycare/assistance, no mandatory maternity leave/paid maternity leave, and no option for paternity leave, often leave women fending for themselves, and their children.

Leigh Edwards, a student at Mount Holyoke College and the organizer of the Equal Pay Day Celebration commented, “In the US, motherhood is treated as a hobby, and leaves no safety net for women once they have children. It’s scary to know that if I ever decide to become a mother, through whatever means, there will be no safety net to help protect my family. If policies were in place that allowed women more options and flexibility for their families, such as affordable or universal childcare, paid maternity/paternity leave, the wage gap would decrease.”

The low-wage job sector is an integral part of our functioning economy, and 2/3 of this low-wage sector is comprised of women workers. These positions are drastically underpaid, and according to The Center for American Progress, 27% of the gender wage gap can be attributed to this occupational segregation and inadequate compensation. The Council of Economic Advisors argues that if the minimum wage were raised to a living wage, this part of the gender age gap would decrease by nearly 5%.

According to the Center for American Progress, increasing the minimum wage to just $10.10 per hour would affect 58.6% percent of Massachusetts’s women. That figure accounts for almost 301,000 women in Massachusetts, many of whom are single mothers supporting their families. 

Shannon Koehn, MotherWoman’s Executive Director stated, “Perhaps we will see the day when womanhood and motherhood will no longer hinder a woman’s financial progress. This is why MotherWoman is in full support of social policies like the Living Wage and Earned Paid Sick Time legislation in Massachusetts, as well as paid maternity and paternity leave.”  Both the Living Wage and Earned Paid Sick Time legislation will be on the ballot for Massachussetts’ voters to weigh in on in November 2014.

MotherWoman is spearheading the Equal Pay Day event in Northampton, on April 11, 2014. This event will aim to educate the public on myths about the wage gap, and highlight that policies like paycheck fairness, living wage and earned paid sick time, have a direct impact on decreasing the wage gap. 

MotherWoman
MotherWoman serves mothers and families through support groups and training with community leaders and professionals to facilitate groups for mothers across the region. MotherWoman trains medical, mental health and social service professionals about postpartum depression and anxiety. They have developed and continue to host county-based multi-disciplinary coalitions in implementing their nationally recognized Community-based Perinatal Support Model. MotherWoman engaging mothers, fathers and caregivers in taking action on policies that impact families. http://www.motherwoman.org

Thursday
Mar062014

3/6/14 - MotherWoman Brings Perinatal Depression Intervention to Communities Across the Commonwealth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 6, 2014

Contact:
Liz Friedman
MotherWoman Program Director
liz@motherwoman.org
413-658-8231 

MotherWoman Brings Perinatal Depression Intervention to Communities Across the Commonwealth

HADLEY, MA— MotherWoman has been partnering with communities across Western MA for over the past 6 years to address perinatal emotional complications, like perinatal depression and anxiety, so that mothers can receive the care and treatment that they need.  MotherWoman has supported coalition efforts at Baystate Medical Center as well as Berkshire, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties.  These coalitions address the barriers to care for mothers experiencing perinatal emotional complications by providing communities with education, professional training, resource development, triage protocols and screening for mothers.  Because of MotherWoman’s success throughout the Western MA region, MotherWoman has been invited to bring their successful Community-based Perinatal Support Model© (CPSM) to communities across the state.  MotherWoman has issued a Request for Proposal (see below for details) to expand their current Community-based Perinatal Support Model© (CPSM). The primary purpose of this proposal is to engage communities in improving resources, care, and treatment for mother’s experiencing perinatal emotional complications. MotherWoman is a non-profit organization aimed at creating community safety nets for mothers at risk for or experiencing perinatal emotional complications through creating community safety nets, impacting family policy and promoting the leadership and resilience of mothers.  MotherWoman has received  funding for this project from the Massachusetts Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP). 

“MotherWoman is thrilled to bring the CPSM to new communities across Massachusetts. The CPSM has demonstrated great success within the communities already implementing it. We know that when communities implement the CPSM they are able to address barriers to care like stigma, lack of training, and public education by helping care providers join together in identifying the needs of women with perinatal emotional complications.  MotherWoman is committed to providing mothers and families with the care and treatment necessary for recovery in communities across the Commonwealth” said Shannon Koehn, Executive Director of MotherWoman

Research shows that 10 – 20% of mothers experience perinatal emotional complications. These numbers drastically increase when additional risk factors like poverty, domestic violence, addiction and teen pregnancy are taken into consideration. When undiagnosed and untreated, perinatal emotional complications can have severe negative effects on mother, infant and birth outcomes, including infant low birth weight and social, emotional and cognitive developmental challenges to babies and children. This results in an increase in medical expenses, visits to the ER and loss of income to families

“When I had my baby 2 years ago I remember feeling lost with no one there to understand what I was going through or offer any help. Everyone just kept telling me what you feel is normal; you will get over it in time. This program makes me hopeful for future moms and that they will receive the support they need to be healthy for their families and themselves,” explained a mom close to the program.

This implementation of the Community-based Perinatal Support Model© in communities statewide is funded by the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) for Moms. With the increased interest in perinatal emotional complications across Massachusetts and the rapid growth of MotherWoman, the capability to roll out this model across the state, with the support of MCPAP, for Moms is a momentous step forward. 

“We know MCPAP for Moms, which is a psychiatry referral program for providers caring for mother and children benefits from partnering with communities to gain the highest level of success. Therefore, we find it important to incorporate programs like the CPSM that promote community coalitions and active involvement of community leaders. There is no wrong door. We want every woman to get the services she needs,” said Dr. John Straus, Senior Executive of MCPAP.

Communities that are selected will participate in the Community-based Perinatal Support Model© which will provide them with resources and training to create community coalitions which in turn will expand professional trainings for providers, identify and expand community resources, and ultimately create a system of care that allows for easy referral for mothers when they need it the most. The CPSM has three main goals:

1. To increase knowledge of perinatal emotional complications among all service care providers (mental health, human service, medical) and introduce communities to the Community-based Perinatal Support Model©.

2. To create integrated, community-based safety nets for mothers at risk for or experiencing perinatal emotional complications through the implementation of the Community-based Perinatal Support Model©.

3. To increase access to mental health care for women and families through a network of statewide support groups.

“We must address barriers to care for Postpartum Depression. MotherWoman's CPSM does an outstanding job of breaking down these barriers, and I'm thrilled to see it expanding across the state," said Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst), Chairwoman of the Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression.

 

Who can apply?

Eligible grantees are communities in Massachusetts ready to work together to build an active coalition to address perinatal emotional complications and pursue goals to improve care and treatment. The community must be dedicated to the mental well-being and health of mother’s and families.

For more information about the CPSM RFP and how to apply, go to www.motherwoman.org or email cpsm@motherwoman.org

About MotherWoman

MotherWoman’s mission is to support and empower mothers to create positive personal and socialchange for themselves, their families, their communities and the world. MotherWoman also addresses the socio-economic issues facing American mothers by advocating for family-friendly policy. MotherWoman seeks to create a culture that understands and de-stigmatizes screening and treatment of perinatal emotional complications. MotherWoman promotes evidence-informed models in prevention, detection, and treatment of perinatal emotional complications by addressing barriers to care. MotherWoman, is committed to ensuring that ALL mothers in the the Commonwealth have information and education, access to resources, and proper care when faced with perinatal emotional complications. MotherWoman has successfully trained many medical and mental health professionals, as well as Support Group facilitators, within various communities across the state to implement this vision.

MotherWoman builds a culture of support for mothers and families by:

  • Training community leaders and professionals who facilitate groups to support and empower mothers to become strong and resilient leaders.
  • Training medical, mental health and social service professionals about the need for integrated support for maternal emotional health.
  • Using their nationally recognized Community-based Perinatal Support Model© to develop regional multi-disciplinary coalitions.
  • Working with partner organizations to educate parents and caregivers on policies that impact families.

About MCPAP for Moms:

MCPAP for Moms is an exciting new statewide program designed to bridge the gap between mothers and their limited access to mental health resources and support needed to address perinatal depression. It is an expansion of the successful Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP), which has improved child mental health care in Massachusetts by offering pediatric primary care providers rapid access to child psychiatry consultation, education, and care coordination. MCPAP for Moms aims to promote maternal and child health by building the capacity of providers serving pregnant and postpartum women and their children up to one year after delivery to effectively prevent, identify, and manage depression.

 

For more information:
Liz Friedman
MotherWoman Program Director
liz@motherwoman.org       
413-658-8231