May 1st is World Maternal Mental Health Day!
The month of May is a special time for mothers. It includes one day where moms are celebrated everywhere, and if we are really lucky we may get a card, or flowers and a trip to the spa. But, May is also World Maternal Mental Health Day. On May 1st of every year, World Maternal Mental Health Day draws attention to essential mental health concerns for mothers and families around the world.
Women with PMADs
Worldwide, as many as 1 in 5 women experience some type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). Statistics vary by country, but this is a worldwide concern. PMADs include postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder, postpartum bipolar, and postpartum psychosis.
Women Hiding Their Symptoms
Estimates are that 7 in 10 women hide or downplay their symptoms. Without understanding, support, and treatment these mental illnesses have a devastating impact on the women affected and on their partners and families.
Family Mental Health
Perinatal mood disorders affect the entire family. Many people don’t realize that about 1 in 10 dads develop depression during this time. An integrated approach to family mental health allows both parents to move beyond the postpartum period as a thriving family unit.
Miscarriage or Stillbirth
It is estimated that 20 – 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth. In addition to grief, many of these women also experience postpartum depression. Giving birth to a premature child, or having a child spend time in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, can also take a toll on maternal mental health.
Please Join The Motherhood Center as we raise awareness around the critical issue of PMADs on MMHday!
World Maternal Mental Health Day raises awareness of maternal mental health issues, so that more women will get treatment and fewer will suffer.
How you can get involved:
During the weeks leading up to the day, you can highlight what you are doing to help women with perinatal mental health problems by using the below tools:
Use the hashtag #maternalMHmatters on social media
Like the Maternal Mental Health Day Facebook page and share your events, stories, facts or research
Adopt the Twibbon on your Facebook or Twitter profile picture – MMHday Twibbon
Tell your story to help raise awareness of maternal mental health issues so that more women will get treatment and fewer will suffer on MMHday’s blog
Join or support activities in your country or region – check the global events pages here
Come up with your own ideas to highlight that #maternalMHmatters in your country or region and let others know by submitting your event details to MMHday via email
Use MMHday’s infographic to highlight that maternal mental health is an issue globally or adapt to your own language and cultural setting. Request the template via email
For more detailed information, media releases and sample tweets: Download the Social Media Toolkit in English
Recognition of World Maternal Mental Health Day
Sign the petition calling on the World Health Assembly and the UN World Health Organization to officially recognize WMMH Day, to be commemorated annually on the first Wednesday of May.
Maternal mental health advocates, researchers, academics, clinicians, and people with lived experiences are committed to improving the mental health support for women during and after pregnancy throughout the world.