The Emily Effect leads to resolution in Utah Senate to combat postpartum depression
Feb 23, 2018, 9:00 PM | Updated: Feb 24, 2018, 12:14 am
SALT LAKE CITY– The family of Emily Dyches had a bittersweet day Friday, as they sat together on the floor of the Utah Senate, during the weekend of the two year anniversary of her death.
Emily passed away Feb. 24, 2016, after she wandered onto I-15 near Nephi, while suffering a mental breakdown, following months of anxiety, brought on after giving birth.
Emily’s family has worked tirelessly during the past two years on an effort they call “The Emily Effect.” They’re helping mothers who struggle after childbirth to know they are not alone and to find resources to help them.
“I think that Emily would be really proud of what has taken place and the fact we took that grief that we felt and channeled it in a way we thought would be positive” said her husband, Eric.
Emily’s family said Friday’s recognition is yet another step in their long-term goal of making sure no woman suffers in silence, and removing the stigma and normalizing the conversation about maternal mental health.
By creating the non-profit The Emily Effect, Emily’s family is combating the most common complication from childbirth: postpartum depression and anxiety that affects one in eight women.
Through public awareness and social media, The Emily Effect is helping mothers who struggle, to find resources and to have hope.
“Emily’s death and The Emily Effect has really allowed women to feel like they can tell the truth and can ask for help that they might be able to find help and to not give up,” said Amy-Rose White, who leads the Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative.
Emily’s family and friends gathered as the “Resolution on Awareness and Treatment of Maternal Depression and Anxiety” was read and discussed on the floor of the Utah Senate.
“We hope that it will encourage those healthcare providers to look into the evidence based training and screening, get better training and prioritize the issue,” said Erin Jemison, director of public policy, for the YWCA of Utah.
Emily’s family said the resolution is yet another step in their goal of making sure no woman suffers in silence, through cooperation between government agencies, health providers and community resources.
“We are coming together and we are having this conversation and we are taking care of moms and improving the resources and so it is humbling to see it all come together in the past couple of years,” added Eric.