HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

Moms Petition Lawmakers For Funding For Maternal Mental Health Awareness

Feb 12, 2019, 10:30 PM | Updated: 10:37 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The stories from new moms, before a legislative committee Tuesday morning, are heartbreaking.

“The mental and emotional suffering was so intense, so painful, I wanted it to end, of course I didn’t want to end my life, and I had four beautiful children, but I couldn’t stand the suffering,” said Jessica Freeman Huish.

Mental health challenges that many new mothers face are becoming easier to talk about in Utah, but advocates say many women aren’t sure where to turn for help.

They are asking state lawmakers to help fund programs to help women find treatment, by recounting the anguish and suffering they have experienced with complications in their mental health after childbirth.

“I don’t want any other mother to have to suffer not knowing that what they are suffering from is a serious, but treatable mental health illness,” said Lindsay Aerts.

Now, advocates are asking lawmakers for $250,000 over the next three years, to build better referral networks with local health departments and also online “telehealth” options, especially for moms in rural Utah.

“Recognizing that we are starting to raise awareness about this to let moms and families know that they are not alone, they don’t have to be silent or feel alone and fix the gaps in care to support families in our state,” said Erin Jemison, YWCA of Utah.

The family of Emily Dyches started the Emily Effect campaign, in her memory, following her death three years ago. She suffered from severe anxiety, after giving birth. Many of the women who testified Tuesday say they were inspired by “The Emily Effect” to seek help during their own.

“We all think we are alone and are ashamed we want to hurt our children or ourselves, and the Emily Effect teaches us that we are not alone and it is imperative to get help, immediately,” said Heather Dopp, a new mom.

“Emily’s family has created a lasting legacy that through her stories and website have put a face, a real face to the illness of pregnancy and postpartum anxiety and depression, and for that I am so grateful,” said Amy-Rose White, a licensed social worker who has focused on maternal mental health efforts in the state.

Emily Dyches

Now women’s advocates hope state lawmakers will help the maternal mental health effort to reach even more mothers. A decision on if the funding is granted is expected by the end of the legislative session.

RELATED LINK: theemilyeffect.org

KSL 5 TV Live

Healthy Mind Matters

Diego Luna discusses his mental health struggles during his second season as a midfielder for Real ...

Emma Benson

‘It’s very difficult’: RSL’s Diego Luna opens up about mental health struggles

Luna, a California native and Olympic hopeful, is in his second season as a midfielder for Real Salt Lake. He admits the season was off to a rocky start. Pressures on and off the field, including becoming a father, were affecting his mental state.

1 month ago

Anton Nootenboom, "The Barefoot Dutchman", walks across the country to bring awareness to men's men...

Ken Fall

‘The Barefoot Dutchman’ and his remarkable trek for men’s mental health

Anton Nootenboom, "The Barefoot Dutchman", makes his way across the U.S. to spread awareness for men's mental health.

1 month ago

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04:  Sesame Street characters Ernie, Bert, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Zoe and Cookie M...

Emma Benson

‘Elmo loves you!’ Our favorite red Muppet stars in mental health campaign

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we all deal with stress and different emotions. In January, Elmo asked a simple question online that sparked a huge conversation.

1 month ago

A psychiatrist at the Huntsman Mental Health is recommending to build a "mental health toolkit."...

Peter Rosen and Emma Benson, KSL TV

Building a mental health toolkit

When life overwhelms you, sometimes there's not just one solution; which is good to have a variety of tools in your "mental health toolkit."

1 month ago

Lehi seventh grader took this gun to his middle school...

Lindsay Aerts

Lehi school resource officer, middle schooler prevented Utah student’s planned suicide

The Alpine School district said a seventh grader who brought a gun to his Lehi middle school last November, planned to take his own life. A school resource officer and a fellow student stepped in.

2 months ago

Hope Hero Foundation Logo on key chain...

Karah Brackin

Utah’s Hope Hero Foundation is saving teen lives

Discover how The Hope Hero Foundation empowers teens and prevents suicide. Be the hero of your own story!

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Moms Petition Lawmakers For Funding For Maternal Mental Health Awareness