Monday, June 27, 2011

Warmline for all Georgia Moms Launches!

Project Healthy Moms, an initiative of Mental Health America of Georgia, aims to increase awareness, identification, and treatment of perinatal mood disorders,
while also reducing the stigma associated with them.
Perinatal peer support is a key component of Project Healthy Moms. Based on a gap in services identified by community advocates, MHA of Georgia has developed a Warmline to support women suffering from perinatal mood disorders. We are excited to announce that the Warmline is now expanding from the original pilot locations and will be available to ALL Georgia women seeking peer support for perinatal mood disorders.Georgia women can phone in to the toll-free Project Healthy Moms Warmline at 1-800-933-9896 (x234), call the local Georgia number at 678-904-1966, or to contact a survivor of PMD who can provide emotional support and suggest appropriate resources. Please leave a message when you call the Warmline, and she will respond as soon as possible. It does get better!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Online group for GA moms with PPD at Cafemom and a weekly online support group beginning in August!

I am very excited to let you know about a new partnership we at MHA of Georgia are launching with CafeMom, which is the leading website for mothers, reaching 6 million moms each month. As part of our Project Healthy Moms initiative, we are working with CafeMom to create a unique online support group for local mothers suffering from postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders.  You can visit the new group, "Georgia PPD Support" at Cafemom.  The group will be a central place online where moms in Georgia can meet each other, ask for advice, and find support for their mental health struggles. The group will also feature a weekly live chat I will be facilitating.  Details about the live online support group chat will be announced in the next couple of weeks.

We hope this partnership between MHA of Georgia and CafeMom will help to provide new moms the peer support and connection to resources that they need in their journey towards wellness in the perinatal period (the time of pregnancy and one year following childbirth). In Georgia, it is estimated that every year about 20,000 women experience a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, these illnesses are still not on the public health radar screen. Consequently, there are very few providers with specialized training in this area and only one consistent live support group in the entire state. If you are a GA mom who has experienced PPD, you might have personally endured this challenging dilemma of extremely limited support and resources.  The Georgia Moms with PPD online support group is one step towards closing this gap in services. 

While the group will be aimed at women living in Georgia, and conversations around resources in the state of GA will likely ensue, anyone is welcome to join.  There is no fee associated with the group or the online support chat.  If you'd like to join the discussion and connect with other mothers now, please go to Georgia PPD Support at Cafemom.  Once on the page, you may sign-up by entering just a few pieces of information and creating an account.  My screen-name is AtlantaPPDMom; when you are viewing posts or participating in the chat you will see my comments and posts associated with this name.

Would you help us spread the word about this new partnership and support group? We encourage you to pass along a link to the group to your email contacts and/or let your members, clients, family, friends, neighbors, etc. know about it in any upcoming communications you have.  If you blog, tweet, Facebook or participate in other social networking communications, would you consider passing along word about this resource?  It will be only as successful as we are at spreading the word about this FREE, supportive and consistently available resource.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Partnership with Mental Health America of GA to expand resources in Atlanta and the state of GA

I am thrilled to share with you that I will be working with Mental Health America of Georgia regularly in the area of Perinatal Mental Health.  What that looks like is still TBD, but for now we are getting started on work to expand resources, including peer support, so that moms all over metro Atlanta, and eventually Georgia will have plenty of tools at their fingertips should they be confronted with a PMD.  Here's the announcement that is currently posted on MHA of GA's homepage:
A recent article in stated that "despite the recent growth in publicity, postpartum depression is still all too often unrecognized or cavalierly dismissed. However, this common disorder is readily diagnosed and treated by the primary care physician who is willing to take the most basic measures." (For the complete article, click here)

In an effort to increase awareness and education, encourage the use of depression screening tools and improve the availability of effective treatment and support services that promote maternal mental health, certain areas of the country declared May as Perinatal Mental Health month.

Actress Brooke Shields and Senator Robert Menendez (R-NJ) were recently among participants at a press conference announcing the passage of the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act which will also help to educate mothers and their families about these conditions as well as support research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression and psychosis.

The statistics speak for themselves.  Between 15 and 20 percent of all women experience some form of pregnancy-related depression or anxiety.  A recent article in the Seattle times quoted a study in the AMA Journal which found that 10.4 percent of men experienced serious depression at some point between his partner's first trimester and one year after childbirth, more than double the depression rate for men in general. (For the complete article, click here).

MHA of GA is in the process of expanding our work in this area and we are pleased that Amber Koter-Puline is partnering with us as we move this initiative forward.  Amber is the author of the blog Beyond Postpartum, website author of Postpartum Healing and is a facilitator of the Atlanta Postpartum Support Group.

More information on this expanded program will be available soon.  However, if you would like to know more now, please contact Sarah Schwartz at
From the MHA website: Mental Health America of Georgia (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association of Georgia) is our state's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all Georgians live mentally healthier lives.  With our state-wide affiliates, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of everyone in our state, emphasizing mental health as a critical component of a healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Resources for Prevention of PPD

While it seems if no one can know for sure if postpartum depression can be prevented, there are a lot of things that a family can do to help lessen the chance or severity of it.  These suggestions can take place in the pre-conception, pregnancy and postpartum periods.  Below is a list of resources that you may want to consider if you are a PPD Suvivor or if you have one or more risk factors for PPD.

If you are at all concerned about prevention, I would consider some of the following Atlanta area options:
Remember, "The most promising intervention is the provision of intensive, professionally based postpartum support."  Considering that, having a short list of professional resources already prepared before giving birth is not a bad idea for anyone who has increased risk of experiencing a PMD.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Complementary Options for Mood Disorders

During the period when I was being treated for a PMD I found many practices that seemed to complement the traditional treatment I was receiving in the form of medication and therapy.  These practices were so beneficial that I have continued to engage in some of them now, two years later.  Here is a link to an article about Complementary Medicine in the Postpartum Period.

Below is a list of some complementary options here in Atlanta that I would recommend IN ADDITION to your own specific treatment plan, which should always be monitored by a physician.  Please do discuss each one of the options with your medical professional before beginning a program.



Chiropractic: Dr. Christopher Scoma, Buckhead Wellness Center

Cranial-Sacral Therapy: Center Point Therapies

Massage Therapy: Center Point Therapies

Homeopathic Medicine (which differs from Herbs, which generally do not interact well with psych meds)

Hypnotherapy: Hypnosis Works

Postnatal Vitamin Supplements: Sound Formulas: After Baby Boost

Yoga: Vista Yoga

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Therapists and Physicians in Atlanta who treat PMDs

The following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the physicians and therapists in Atlanta who treat Perinatal Mood Disorders.  Please contact me or them to learn more about their education, training, ability to prescribe medicine, if they file insurance claims, and therapy style.  Therapist fit is an important component of successful treatment.

Licia Freeman
(770) 352-0029
3500 Piedmont Road, Suite 775
Atlanta, GA 30305

Drs. Stowe and Newport
(404) 778-2524
Emory University School of Medicine
Emory Clinic Building B
1365 Clifton Road NE, Suite 6100
Atlanta, GA 30322

Sally Herbert
(404) 842-0070

Dr. Julie Rand
(404) 352-2319
 3500 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 775
Atlanta, GA 30305

Dr. Bethany B. Davis
3495 Piedmont Road, Suite 419
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 841-1000

Jacqueline V Cohen, MS, LAPC, NCC
Postpartum and Women's Issues Counselor
115 Vickery Street
Roswell, Ga. 30075

Vickie Leopold, LCSW
(770) 461-0284
South Atlanta, GA

Lauren Magalnick Berman, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
5605 Glenridge Drive
One Premier Plaza, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30342

Shana J. Pittman, LPC
One Decatur Town Center
150 E. Ponce de Leon Ave
Suite 350
Decatur, GA 30030

The Care and Counseling Center of GA
1814 Clairmont Rd
Decatur, GA 30033-3405
(404) 636-1457