Why Mental Health Matters

As a maternal-child health nonprofit organization, The Partnership’s primary focus is to assist mothers and their families access health services to improve the quality of their lives. Good health is often defined as a combination of physical, mental and social well-being. For new moms, we recognize the challenges of parenting and some of the issues that can affect maternal-child health. That’s one of the reasons why the Partnership’s Perinatal Mood Disorders Initiative offers support groups and connects women to other established groups throughout New Jersey. In this supportive setting, we find that some moms are better able to cope with their new responsibilities as parents.

Some support groups are specifically designed to assist women suffering from postpartum depression, the debilitating maternal mental illness that affects one (1) in nine (9) women in America. When diagnosed, interventions may include psychotherapy, postpartum depression medications and non medication treatment.

Another mental health issue which has recently caught all of our attention is suicide. We’ve all been shocked by the surge of high profile suicide deaths. The reality is that each year over 44,000 Americans die by suicide according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Partnership wants to encourage our community to check in with family, friends and individuals who are part of your network. Even take a self-assessment to address any thoughts or issues that may be affecting your outlook on life. Talk with medical professionals, clergy members, telephone hotline support staff, even law enforcement.

Mental Health America, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the needs of individuals living with mental illness and the overall mental health of Americans shares that any one of these signs does not necessarily mean the person is considering suicide, but several of these symptoms may signal a need for help:

• Verbal suicide threats such as, “You’d be better off without me.” or “Maybe I won’t be around”
• Expressions of hopelessness and helplessness
• Previous suicide attempts
• Daring or risk-taking behavior
• Personality changes
• Depression
• Giving away prized possessions
• Lack of interest in future plans

If You Think Someone Is Considering Suicide:

• Trust your instincts that the person may be in trouble
• Talk with the person about your concerns. Communication needs to include LISTENING
• Ask direct questions without being judgmental. Determine if the person has a specific plan to carry out the suicide. The more detailed the plan, the greater the risk
• Get professional help, even if the person resists
• Do not leave the person alone
• Do not swear to secrecy
• Do not act shocked or judgmental
• Do not counsel the person yourself

If you or someone you know is having a tough time, you can start with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 9-1-1. There’s no shame in getting help. #EndStigma

Getting Involved