#BeatTheBlues: GoK Ensure Mental Health Screening for Mothers During and After Pregnancy

#BeatTheBlues: GoK Ensure Mental Health Screening for Mothers During and After Pregnancy

0 have signed. Let’s get to 10,000!
At 10,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!

Anvita Nair started this petition to Dr. Sudhakar K (Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education, GoK) and

It was 16th October 2017, I was lying in bed with a fever, when the phone rang and my mom picked it up. A few minutes later she came into the room and conveyed the news that still paralyses me. My best friend was gone. She had taken her own life. 

The four months before I found out why she had taken the step were a haze. I had stopped sleeping, I was plagued by incessant headaches, I lost my vitality - all colour in my life had fallen flat. I was diagnosed with mild atypical depression shortly after - this diagnosis made a world of a difference because now I finally had a name attached to what I was going through.

I started researching extensively on mental health -- my passion was now aided with purpose. After losing a loved one and having my own lived experience, I wanted to do my part to ensure that no one else, at any stage in their lives, would have to go through what I did.  

In my research, I read about how during the perinatal period (pregnancy+2 years postpartum period), women were more prone to developing mental illnesses - the ill-effects of which could range anywhere from lack of sleep to thoughts of self-harm. This hit home because the idea that a mother could have ill-feelings towards her own child went against everything I knew about motherhood. From the woman who was suicidal and was being pressured to have a baby early to the woman who was too depressed to bond with her newborn - each story I read cemented the fact that these silent struggles needed to be addressed. 

About 12-22% women experience maternal mental health issues in their perinatal period. And over 50% of them go undiagnosed. This puts two lives at risk at once - the mother’s, as well as the child’s. The mental health of the mother has a direct impact on the child’s emotional, physical and neurological development

Sign my petition asking the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka, to:

  • Make a policy to ensure that every health center in the state conducts mandatory screening of perinatal women, once during pregnancy and once in the postpartum period.
  • Train first responders in pregnancy to screen perinatal women for their mental health
  • Publish the list of health centers where mental health screening is being conducted 

Pregnancy is one of the most important phases in many women’s lives, and they deserve to enjoy it without the cost of their mental health. The first step to fighting this problem is screening. Screening women for their mental health during their routine visits to their Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OBG) will ensure that no one slips through the cracks. As first responders in pregnancy, the onus is on the OBG to screen women for their mental health and refer them to a mental health professional accordingly.

I am not a mother today, but I may be one in the future. I want to ensure that mental health during pregnancy will not be a concern, for myself, or any mother to come.

Join me to #BeatTheBlues and build a more mentally healthy future generation!

Representative Image Credits: motherchildhealth.org

0 have signed. Let’s get to 10,000!
At 10,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!