“’The time has come,’ the Walrus said, ‘to talk of many things…’” – Lewis Carroll
The time has certainly come. On April 27, Governor Rick Snyder released the Postpartum Depression Proclamation stating that May 2017 is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month in Michigan – insert round of applause here! This is a monumental moment for us Michiganders and for GR Therapy Group. Our daily mission is to help people in our community experience a difference in their lives and remove the stigma that so unfortunately comes along with “therapy.” This proclamation is huge because not only does it bring to light an experience that affects many families in our community, but it also encourages families to utilize the resources around them – including areas in the community offering support like those of us here at GR Therapy Group.
The proclamation reads:
“WHEREAS, more than 23,000 Michigan women and their families are affected by postpartum depression each year; and,
“WHEREAS, the symptoms of postpartum depression vary from person to person but can include anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, guilt, irritability, anger, difficulty sleeping, feeling disconnected from one’s baby and experience frightening and intrusive thoughts; and,
“WHEREAS, postpartum depression can develop immediately after a baby is born and up to 24 months after. In some cases, it can also appear during pregnancy; and,
“WHEREAS, although primarily affecting birth mothers, postpartum depression can also affect other members of the family, including fathers, siblings and grandparents; and,
“WHEREAS, women commonly have mood changes during pregnancy caused by fluctuation in hormone levels. Many mood changes are normal, and even expected, since having a baby can lead to lifestyle transformations. Support from your family and friends can help; and,
“WHEREAS, there is no single test to diagnose postpartum depression. Education is the best tool to fight postpartum depression, and raising awareness among new parents, educating the public, and reaching out to health practitioners can increase the rate at which afflicted mothers get help; and,
“WHEREAS, this month we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to raise awareness of how frequently postpartum depression affects family and support the efforts of medical providers, community agencies and Michigan home visitation providers that inform about the best way to help;
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2017 as Postpartum Depression Awareness Month in Michigan.”
Could it get any more beautiful than that?
Yes, of course it could! We can use this opportunity as a community to recognize that there are people suffering silently near us. We can use this Postpartum Depression Awareness Month to speak out about our own experiences with postpartum depression. We can use this call for support to encourage our loved ones to reach out to a therapist for help and guidance. At GR Therapy Group, we are proud to offer staff members specifically trained in perinatal mood disorders, pregnancy, and infant mental health.
Let’s not allow this proclamation to fall on deaf ears. Speak up. Speak out. Share this article. Ask your friends and family about their experiences – and be open to their answers. Compassion leads with a gentle heart.