May 2019: Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Awareness Month

WHEREAS, more than approximately 23,000 Michigan women and their families are affected by Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) each year, historically known as Postpartum Depression; and,

WHEREAS, PMAD affect nearly 20 percent of mothers and 10 percent of fathers who have infants; and many more cases go unreported or undiagnosed; and,

WHEREAS, PMAD can appear during pregnancy and up to two years after a baby is born; and,

WHEREAS, although primarily affecting birth mothers, PMAD can affect adoptive mothers and other members of the family, including fathers, partners, and caregivers; support from family and friends is imperative; and,

WHEREAS, PMAD vary from person to person and can include a variety of symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, guilt, irritability, anger, difficulty sleeping and eating, feeling overwhelmed, disconnection from baby, and experiencing frightening and intrusive thoughts; and,

WHEREAS, the work of healthcare professionals and community organizations is to consistently screen women and families to increase identification of PMAD and improve access to successful referral and treatment; and,

WHEREAS, PMAD education is important to reduce stigma and is essential to improving the mental health of women and entire family units; and,  

WHEREAS, this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to raise awareness about PMAD and support the efforts of medical providers, community agencies, and Michigan home visitation providers to assist PMAD affected families.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2019 as Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Awareness Month in Michigan.