Help is Out There
The Postpartum Support International organization (http://www.postpartum.net) offers numerous free online resources to help mothers and families in crisis due to postpartum depression. The site offers advice for the friends and family of mothers enduring severe postpartum depression, as well as free online chat rooms. These chats provide mothers and dads with the opportunity to ask for advice and counseling with a licensed mental health professional. This service also allows those in crisis to get advice from home and to speak freely without giving out their private information. The PSI site also has a page with a database of regional support groups, crisis hotlines and local Postpartum Support International coordinators who can help to find support for postpartum needs locally. The site does stress that they are not an emergency service, however. Parents undergoing an extreme emergency should call 911 for immediate help.
The National Women’s Health Information Center, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also has a website (http://www.womenshealth.gov) which offers advice for women with postpartum depression and lists numerous organizations that specialize in support for this specific problem.
Helpguide.org (http://www.helpguide.org) is another non-profit resource offered online for people dealing with mental health issues. This website offers extensive information and support for women who are suffering from severe postpartum depression. The site offers advice on treatment, including hormone therapy, marriage counseling and psychotherapy, as well as links to an online PPD support group and to additional information on postpartum psychosis.
Local hospitals frequently provide resources for families in crisis; some offer online help or counseling over the phone. Again, in case of emergency, family members should call 911 for immediate help.
Other websites that offer help for women and families at risk due to post partum depression include:
- www.depressionafterdelivery.com, Depression After Delivery, Inc.
- www.nmha.org, the National Mental Health Association
- www.nimh.hih.gov, National institute of Mental Health
Help is out there. What’s critical is that a mother suffering from crushing depression finds support and care before it’s too late.