SAINT THOMAS HEALTH SERVICES PARTNERS WITH HOPE CLINIC FOR WOMEN TO PROVIDE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION COUNSELING AND EDUCATION
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jan. 23, 2009 – Saint Thomas Health Services has developed a partnership with Hope Clinic for Women to provide better counseling and educational resources for Middle Tennessee women suffering postpartum depression.
Baptist Hospital in Nashville and Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) in Murfreesboro, Tenn., which are part of Saint Thomas Health Services, make follow up calls to new moms once they return home. Some of the questions asked are related to postpartum depression and the women can be connected to the Hope Clinic for Women for a full phone assessment or to set up counseling, if necessary. In addition, physicians at Baptist Hospital and MTMC can refer patients who might benefit from the treatment services offered and the program is open to any women in the Middle Tennessee community who may be experiencing postpartum depression.
Resources available from Hope Clinic for Women include screening and diagnostic assessment, individual or couples therapy, support groups, support services for fathers or referral for psychiatric evaluation and follow up. Services are offered on a sliding scale, based on the ability to pay.
“Our hospitals deliver nearly 10,000 babies combined per year and based on input from our obstetricians, mental health – especially postpartum depression – is very under-served in Middle Tennessee,” said Amanda Cecconi, women’s health service line executive for Saint Thomas Health Services. “Part of the patient experience we provide is to ensure new moms have what they need when they return home. Unfortunately, postpartum depression is often a ‘silent topic.’ We want to be proactive by helping identify women who may be suffering from it and to offer additional resources. Hope Clinic for Women, also a faith-based organization, was a natural fit to develop a partnership.”
As many as 80 percent of women experience some mood disturbances after pregnancy. Many suffer the “baby blues,” which can last from several days up to two weeks after delivery and are characterized by mood swings, crying, feelings of doubt or being overwhelmed. These feelings subside as hormone levels begin to stabilize.
One in seven women will experience postpartum depression, which usually occurs within a few months of delivery and should be treated by a health professional. It is more serious and a major form of depression that usually occurs within a few months of delivery and can last up to a year. Its peak onset usually occurs between two and 12 weeks postpartum. Symptoms can include drastic changes in motivation, appetite or mood, severe disruptions in sleep, excessive crying without cause or provocation and difficulty concentration.
“Postpartum struggles are common and the symptoms are treatable,” said Kristi Marshall, director of client programs for Hope Clinic for Women and a counselor for the program. “Our hope is that new moms won’t let feelings of shame or embarrassment get in the way. Seeking treatment doesn’t mean admitting failure; it is the first step in the road to relief. We’re here to help answer questions or provide treatment. We’re proud to be partnered with these hospitals.”
Saint Thomas Health Services assisted Hope Clinic for Women in obtaining postpartum depression training for two of its staff members.
Hope Clinic for Women has locations in Nashville at 1810 Hayes Street and in Spring Hill at The Garden, 2620 Thompson Station Road East. Another location in Rutherford County will be added in the near future.
For more information, call Saint Thomas Health Services at (615) 284-PINK (7465) or Hope Clinic for Women at (615) 321-0005 or visit www.hopeclinicforwomen.org.
Saint Thomas Health Services is a faith-based ministry with more than 8,000 associates serving Middle Tennessee. Saint Thomas Health Services’ regional health system consists of four hospitals – Baptist and Saint Thomas in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures in diagnostics, cardiac services and ambulatory surgery as well as medical practices, the Center for Spinal Surgery, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. STHS is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit http://www.sths.com.