Follow by Email

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Postpartum Rally Held At State Capitol - Video - KCRA Sacramento

Thanks to all who attended and supported the series of events on maternal mental health yesterday at the Capitol.   The day started with a rally on the capitol steps, an expert panel discussion on emerging treatment models and ended with a Networking luncheon.  It was a day rich in the exchange of ideas and business cards.

The clip below aired in Sacramento the morning of the rally.  It features a young mother named Lauren McCrea who also shared her story with our group during our panel discussion.  It also features California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative Co-Chair, Dr. Judy Mikacich, an OBGYN.

Postpartum Rally To Be Held At State Capitol - Video - KCRA Sacramento

A special thanks to our panelists, and speakers: Raul Martinez, widower of Kelly Abraham Martinez, and Jane Honikman, founder of Postpartum Support International; and our co-hosts: The California Legislative Women's Caucus, Assemblymember Roger Hernandez and  ACOG.

The Collaborative also wishes to extend our sincerest gratitude to Cigna HealthCare and Blue Sheild, the event sponsors and the Junior League of Los Angeles for their seed money used to help get the Collaborative up and running.

Please mark your calendars.  The forum is scheduled for Monday Dec. 3, at the California Endowment's Center for Healthy Communities, in Los Angeles.  Sponsorship opportunities exist.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Join Us -May 7 in Sacramento

May is Maternal Depression Awareness Month.

Join the Collaborative, colleagues and supporters of maternal mental health on:

Monday, May 7, 2012 in Sacramento, CA

Press Conference on the Capitol Steps
Expert Panel Discussion on Emerging Maternal Mental Health Treatment and Practices
  • Embedding Maternal Mental Treatment in Primary Care & Pediatric Settings
  • Inpatient & Outpatient Day Programs for Maternal Mental Health
  • Telehealth, Cutting Edge e-Treatment
  • Hospital Birth Class & Labor and Delivery Units & Preventive Measures
Networking Luncheon, Chops Restaurant, J Street

The event is hosted by the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, the California Legislative Women's Caucus (the women of the California legislature) and Assemblymember Roger Hernandez.  The event is sponsored by several donors, including Cigna HealthCare.

There is no cost to attend this event, however donations are welcome to cover an individual's cost for lunch.  To RSVP or request more information please e-mail or call 626-390-4173.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

CA now has a Postpartum Depression Telephone Helpline

Thanks to Postpartum Support International (, all of the women and families of California now have access to a telephone support line regardless of where they live in the state. 

Those in need of help can call toll-free and leave a message any time.  One of PSI's trained and understanding volunteers will return the phone call within 24 hours. 

Telephone: 1-855-227-7462English and Spanish
For more information about PSI and this service, please e-mail:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The CA Task Force is up and Running, Thanks to ACR 105!

About the CA Task Force
Formed in September, 2011, The California Maternal Mental Health Task Force is the result of the passage of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 105 which declared May as Perinatal Depression Awareness month in California.  ACR 105 also urged private and public stakeholders to form a volunteer task force to address opportunities to increase awareness and screening for maternal mental health disorders.  Over 30 members representing for-profit, non-profit, and government organizations have joined the task force.  Our membership includes a wide representative of the community which is working toward change, including medical and mental health professionals, educators, community advocates, and individuals who have experienced these disorders. 

The purpose of the task force is threefold: (1) to increase health care provider and general community awareness of maternal mental health disorders, (2) to support the nine regional task forces and collaboratives in various counties throughout California by providing a forum for the exchange of information and ideas, (3) to identify and engage in legislative advocacy and policy reform aimed at increasing awareness, screening and treatment of maternal mental health disorders.

In 2012, in an effort to close the awareness gap, the task force will be (1) partnering with medical provider organizations, corporate sponsors and other partners to create and distribute materials to providers to make available to pregnant and new mothers and (2) hosting a Stroll-a-thon on May 9, 2012 in several California communitieses to draw public and media attention to this important issue.

This task force is currently co-chaired by Joy Burkhard of the Junior League and Judy Mikacich, M.D., representing the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Area IX.

How we came to be
It was about this time in 2008 that a young Junior League member from Los Angeles was inspired to submit an idea for a law. She had just read about a tragic case of maternal depression where a young mother took both her own life and her baby's.  The story was told by the young mother's twin sister, an Olympic athlete who's life would never be the same.  The idea for a law involved providing women and their families information about postpartum depression before women are discharged from the hospital. 

Assembly Member Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) agreeing that such a disclosure is critical to the health and well being of families and communities, quickly offered to author a bill.  The bill first introduced as Assembly Bill (AB) 159, The Healthy Mother's Act, and like many bills got "held" in the appropriations committee, the committee responsible for determining the cost to the state to implement laws.   The Junior League's State Public Affairs Committee, as well as the Los Angeles Perinatal Mental Health Task Force and Nava's, quickly brainstormed and ended up deciding to re-purpose the bill to an awareness measure, Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 105 declaring the month of May, every year, as Perinatal Depression Awareness month in California.  The bill was amended by the legislature to encourage volunteer stakeholders to form a statewide task force devoted to further advancing efforts to improve awareness of maternal health.   The resolution was chaptered in April of 2010.

A leader within the Junior League's State Public Affairs Committee remembered this call to action, and committed to confirming there was an interest among stakeholders and then began organizing the group.  The task force held it's first meeting in September 2011, and now holds regular monthly meetings. 

For more information about the task force, including partnership opportunities, or to join, please e-mail