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

Lauren Hess has struggled with depression since she was a teen. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects...

Emma Benson

‘You can actually find joy again’: Why Utahns are at higher risk for seasonal affective disorder, how to cope

Seasonal affective disorder affects about 10% of Utahns, according to a Huntsman Mental Health Institute doctor.

28 days ago

(Safe2Feel)...

Tamara Vaifanua

Free SAFE2FEEL conference teaches coping, confidence-building skills

Mental health experts say there’s an epidemic of loneliness. 

1 month ago

(Laura Warburton)...

Emma Benson

‘Because of Hannah’: Utah mom who lost daughter to suicide provides resources for others

Laura Warburton remembers her daughter, Hannah, as a warrior.

3 months ago

SafeUT app...

Logan Stefanich, KSL.com 

SafeUT app sees ‘record-breaking’ use in 2023

The SafeUT app saw "record-breaking" utilization during 2023, program leaders and partners announced Tuesday.

4 months ago

Kelsey (left) and Wendy Fayle (right) holding up a NAMI sign. (Courtesy: Wendy Fayle)...

Candice Madsen, KSL TV

NAMI Utah offers free classes for parents and adolescents dealing with mental illness

NAMI is offering free classes for both parents and adolescents that are dealing with mental illness.

4 months ago

YCC text messages...

Alex Cabrero

YCC Family Crisis Center in Ogden now accepting text messages

It is certainly not the easiest job out there. Amber Paaso will be the first to tell you she's burned out of doing it in the past. 

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

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.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Moms Petition Lawmakers For Funding For Maternal Mental Health Awareness