One step closer….

The following is a press release from Rep. Bobby Rush’s office. GREAT news on the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research & Care Act of 2007 and its journey through Congress! If you haven’t already mailed or spoken with your Congressional Representative, please do so now.

Press Release from Congressman Bobby L. Rush
July 19, 2007

Chairman Bobby L. Rush Wins Unanimous, Bipartisan Support, In Health Subcommittee, For 1st Federal Postpartum Depression InitiativeH.R. 20 provides new mothers with tools to treat postpartum depression

WASHINGTON DC: U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, proudly marked a major step forward today in advancing the rights of women’s health with his successful effort in gaining unanimous support from members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health for H.R. 20, the Melanie Blocker Stokes Postpartum Depression, Research and Care Act of 2007.Today’s action came as a result of more than six years of tenacious work by Rush to gain passage of the legislation to secure much needed resources for research and medical advances in the treatment of postpartum depression and psychosis.

“As proud and excited as I am by the progress we’ve made today, I remain focused on the fact that thousands of women, of all colors and from all walks of life, will continue to suffer in silence without the help they need in what should really be a joyous time,” said Chairman Rush. “I applaud the valiant work of Melanie’s mom, my constituent, Carol Blocker, for turning her pain into a passionate and ongoing effort to help make sure that no other mother suffers the needless loss of her daughter from this terrible syndrome.”

Rush, along with thousands of concerned activists around the country, continues to work to secure much needed resources for research and medical advances in the treatment of postpartum depression and psychosis, which afflicts far too many women in their child-bearing years.

Because of the failure of our nation’s health system to effectively address the medical ramifications of postpartum depression and psychosis, I will continue to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to join me, Melanie’s mom and millions of concerned families throughout the country to ensure
enactment of this legislation,” Chairman Rush added.

Postpartum depression is a serious and disabling condition that affects approximately 1 in 7 new mothers resulting in about 800,000 new cases each year. Of the new postpartum cases expected to be diagnosed this year, fewer than 15 percent of mothers will receive treatment. However, research has proven that, with treatment, more than 90 percent of these mothers could overcome their depression and lead healthy lives.

H.R. 20 prioritizes research and treatment of postpartum depression and psychosis by expanding and intensifying research through the National Institutes of Health and the National Institutes of Mental Health on the causes, diagnoses and treatments of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. H.R. 20 also encourages the National Institutes of Health to work in partnership with local communities to coordinate and broadcast heightened public service awareness about postpartum depression and its symptoms. H.R. 20 further provides grants to groups that have a track record of working with women who suffer from postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.

Following today’s Subcommittee vote, the bill proceeds, next week, to the full Energy and Commerce committee for approval.

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