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Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care


Bethesda, Maryland

Sponsored by:
National Institute of Mental Health
Postpartum Support Virginia

A two-day meeting convened in May 2009 educated participants on essential components of care for women with perinatal mood disorders. The event brought together 100 mental health providers including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and nurses from the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area and beyond. Peter Schmidt, M.D., of the NIMH Intramural Research Program presented the results of ongoing research, focusing on the role of sex steroids in the onset of perinatal mood disorders. He emphasized the need for developing new, effective therapies for these conditions. Postpartum Support International, an advocacy organization with independent branches across the country, presented training material covering standard-of-care drug and psychotherapy treatments, the role of social support systems, and professional resources for mental health providers working with this population. Participants discussed the suggestion to replace the term postpartum depression with the more inclusive diagnostic label, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders to reflect the variable timing of onset and the prominence of anxiety in this condition.

For more information, please contact Annie Shellswick, L.C.S.W.-C., at annieshellswick@mail.nih.gov or 301-402-9207.