The Perinatal Mood Disorders Initiative, also known as the Postpartum Depression (PPD) program, began in 2006 after New Jersey became the first state in the country to pass a law mandating universal screening, education and referral for PPD in all hospitals offering in-patient obstetric services.
The PPD program collaborates with member hospitals, health centers, mental health clinicians and community-based organizations in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties to support the emotional well-being of women during the perinatal period.
The program’s goals are to:
- Provide PPD education to healthcare providers on its signs and symptoms and screening methods, and information on local perinatal mental health resources
- Raise PPD awareness and provide information about hospital and community referrals to assist women and their families
- Support member hospitals and community-based organizations by establishing new mothers’ groups
- Provide a continuum of care during the perinatal period by conducting follow-up phone calls to at-risk mothers to ensure they are connected to mental health services and/or support groups
- Monitor, collect and analyze member hospital PPD screening data
- Maintain an updated listing of regional support groups and a directory of perinatal mental health providers