In the United States 1 in 5 women suffer from a maternal mental health disorder and this rate increases to 1 in 3 among women of color. Many of these women go undiagnosed and untreated resulting in progressive mental decline and sometimes even death. Women of color suffer in silence because culturally-based stigmas about mental health reinforce stereotypes that they have to be strong, that they don’t need or shouldn’t ask for help from anyone, or that they aren’t good mothers for feeling the way they do.
An important awareness campaign is set to take place during August and will highlight the cultural barriers in maternal mental health. The Inaugural.Black maternal mental health week will take place August 26th – August 31st This week was created to help push awareness around maternal mental health affecting black women during and after childbirth. The purpose of this week is having those who work in maternal health to make a commitment to incorporate black maternal mental health in all areas of their practice, thus changing the current way maternal mental health goes unacknowledged and untreated in black women. The mission is to introduce community organizers and individuals who offer maternal mental health support to each other so that effective practices can began and change the current outlook of this disease.
There will be a series of events that will take place in Houston, Texas as well as around the country. One important event The Black Maternal Health summit will be held on August 29th where The Shades of Blue Project will be partnering with UT Health and other community organizations. This event which will be attended by clinical providers, educators, social workers, counselors, and researchers where they will receive information on providing compassionate maternal, perinatal, and postpartum care to women from marginalized communities.
Objectives. The project’s primary long-term objectives are to 1) educate and raise awareness of the prevalence and effects of maternal mental health disorders specifically among minority women; 2) globally capture, compile, and disseminate women of color own maternal mental health experiences; and 3) enhance community-based partnerships that work toward destigmatizing negative perceptions of maternal mental health disorders in minority communities.
To learn more about Inaugural Black Maternal Mental Health Week, please visit http://www.shadesofblueproject.org/black-maternal-mh-week.html
Note: In 2020 Black Maternal Mental Health Week will move to the month of July which is Minority Mental Health Month.
About The Shades of Blue Project
The Shades of Blue Project is dedicated to helping minority women who are suffering from postpartum depression and/or anxiety. They are dedicated to helping women before, during and after child-birth with mental health advocacy, treatment and support. There goal is to reach women globally helping to restore them mentally, physically and spiritually.