by Kevin Nix, Sr. Director of Communications
There is an alarming rate of Texas moms dying after giving birth because of postpartum depression. According to state health officials, about 17% of mothers experience such depression before or after giving birth.
Last week, 65-year old Donna Kreuzer spoke out at the Texas Legislature about this growing problem. For her, it was personal. Her daughter was diagnosed with postpartum depression and died two months later.
“I don’t want that to happen to anyone else if I can help it,” Kreuzer said. “Each of you, please realize postpartum depression is real. It’s not just because you have children and things are different and you’re tired and not getting sleep.”
The good news is that the medical and political communities are talking about mental health more, but we need to do even more of it. Silence and stigma associated with mental health are dangerous.
“Both inside and outside the exam room, it’s critical all of us yank mental health illness out from under the rug, encourage a conversation, and fight stigma,” said Dr. Chad Lemaire, Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Legacy Community Health. “That would save lives and livelihoods.”
According to the Dallas-based Meadows Mental Health Institute, nine out of 10 Texans say it’s more difficult to discuss mental than physical health.