By Maureen Fura
NCMMH Advocacy Day participants gather in front of the Capital for a photo holding pictures of mothers who lost their lives from a maternal mental health disorder, reminding us all why we continue to advocate for mothers and families.
Following last year’s successful inaugural National Lobby Day that culminated in the important maternal mental health legislation, Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act, getting passed by the House and Senate, NCMMH planned for another phenomenal year advocating for maternal mental health care in the Nation’s Capital this past May.
More than doubling last year’s participants, over 90 advocates convened from around the country; mothers, fathers, survivors, grandmothers, grandfathers, and practitioners. Participants came from as far as Alaska, Washington State, Utah and California and as far South as Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia. First-time states to the table arrived from Nebraska, Kansas and North Dakota, everyone gathering with the intention of sharing their stories with their legislative leaders carrying the message that if mom is not well, babies and families are not well.
A total of twenty-six states were represented in this year’s advocacy efforts and a record number of 78 congressional meetings took place with Congressmen and women and Senators from around the country.
This year’s goal was to ask for the allocation of funding from the position of the 21st Century Cures Act that incorporated the Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act. Funding would provide for screening and treatment for maternal mental health disorders around the country.