SPONSOR:

Sen. Gay & Sen. S. McBride & Sen. Pinkney & Rep. Griffith & Rep. Minor-Brown

Sens. Ennis, Hansen, Lockman, Mantzavinos, Pettyjohn, Poore, Sturgeon, Townsend, Wilson; Reps. Baumbach, Briggs King, K. Johnson, S. Moore, Morrison, Osienski, Michael Smith, Wilson-Anton

DELAWARE STATE SENATE

151st GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 108

RECOGNIZING MAY 2022 AS MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH.

WHEREAS, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), including post-partum depression, impact women of every culture, age, income level, and race; and

WHEREAS, PMADs are one of the most common complications of childbirth, impacting between approximately

20% of women, and 10% of men; and

WHEREAS, symptoms of PMADs can include depressed mood or severe mood swings; difficulty or diminished

ability to bond with the baby; diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate, or make decisions; withdrawal from family or
friends; severe anxiety; panic attacks; and thoughts of self-harm; and

WHEREAS, PMADs result in maternal suffering, poorer health outcomes for mothers and infants, and impaired

emotional, social, and cognitive development in children; and
WHEREAS, PMADs are triggered by complex psychological, social, and biological stressors, with higher rates of

PMADs experienced by low income women, women with low social support, or birth complications; and
WHEREAS, women of color experience PMADs at twice the rate of Caucasian women, with 38% of new mothers

of color experiencing PMADs; and

WHEREAS, 60% of women of color do not receive treatment for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders; and
WHEREAS, lack of insurance coverage, social and cultural stigma, logistical barriers to services, and lack of

culturally appropriate care significantly contribute to inequitable access to perinatal mood and anxiety disorder treatment; and

WHEREAS, lack of access to sick leave or medical leave presents a barrier for low-income and middle-class employed mothers seeking treatment; and

WHEREAS, many women are not aware that PMADs are classified as a disability and protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), or fear they will be discriminated against if they seek temporary accommodations under the ADA while they obtain PPD treatment; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 has led to increased symptoms of anxiety and depression among pregnant women, and medical professionals recommend supporting and expanding preventative programs and interventions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of pregnant women; and

WHEREAS, increasing awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like PMADs is key to promoting early detection and eliminating the societal stigma that may prevent women from seeking treatment.

NOW, THEREFORE:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the 151st General Assembly of the State of Delaware, the House of

Representatives concurring therein, that the General Assembly hereby designates May 2022 as “Maternal Mental Health
Awareness Month” in the State of Delaware.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Delaware should prioritize the health and well-being of mothers by promoting awareness of PMADs and working to address the social and economic barriers that contribute to, and exacerbate, these disorders, including addressing the disproportionate racial impact and barriers that prevent women from seeking and obtaining treatment.

SYNOPSIS

This resolution recognizes May 2022 as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month in Delaware.

Author: Senator Gay