Governor Cox has declared February Maternal Mental Health Month in Utah and yesterday, a virtual press conference was hold to mark both the announcement and the strides that Utah has made in awareness and more importantly, available and accessible resources.
First Lady Abby Cox, who struggled with postpartum depression with her third baby, said “I’m here to represent mothers everywhere who have struggled with postpartum anxiety or depression, or other maternal mental health issues.”
Survivors shared their stories, including Evi Figgat, who struggled with postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis and Lisa Condie Barlow, who experienced postpartum depression and postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder. Emily Dyches lost her life five years ago as a result of an overwhelming panic attack related to her postpartum mood disorders. Her sister, Megan Cook Johnson, a therapist herself, also spoke about the deep impact of Emily’s death. She is the co-founder of The Emily Effect, a foundation to provide hope and resources to moms who are struggling and those who want to support them.
Utah has created an online resource, the Maternal Mental Health Referral Network to help with locating maternal mental health resources, therapists and support groups. Comunidad Materna en Utah (CMU) offers resouces in Spanish and additional information is available at the Maternal and Infant Health website.
You can watch the entire conference here.