Prevent and Treat Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

It is tragic that a young mother with postpartum psychosis died this week in Washington, DC.  Her symptoms could have been treated successfully with medication and therapy, had people around her tuned in to what she doing and saying. I often see women with postpartum depression and anxiety.  Thankfully, few have full-blown psychosis.  Here is information from Dr. Wendy Davis, Executive Director of Postpartum Support International so that other women can be treated quickly and appropriately in the future.

Contact:  Lianne Swanson
Postpartum Support International

PSI joins with worldwide advocates for prevention through education, early diagnosis and treatment of maternal mental health distress

(October 4, 2013) – According to Postpartum Support International (PSI), at least 20% of pregnant and new mothers will experience a maternal mental health disorder, yet most are never screened, diagnosed or treated.

“Women, families, and health care providers need to know that pregnancy and postpartum mental health distress and disorders are common, real, and treatable. We can prevent escalation and crisis with access to qualified treatment and support,” said Wendy Davis, PhD, Executive Director of Postpartum Support International. “We want women and their families to know that they are not alone, they are not to blame, and with help, they will be well. Most importantly we don’t want women to be frightened and isolated; we will help them find reliable resources.”

Less than half a percent of new mothers will suffer from a psychosis, in which there is a severe break in reality. Up to 5% of mothers suffering from postpartum psychosis will commit suicide. “A woman with postpartum psychosis loses touch with reality,” said Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, LMFT a forensic expert in maternal mental health and member of PSI’s President’s Advisory Council. “She may also have false beliefs that she and/or her baby are in harm’s way,” she said. PSI works alongside other advocates to train professionals and social supporters, increasing the number of qualified resources around the world.

Postpartum Support International is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to educating professionals and connecting with families suffering from pregnancy and postpartum distress and mental health disorders. The organization offers support, reliable information, professional training and volunteer coordinators in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, and more than 35 other countries. For resources and support visit or call 800-944-4PPD (4773).


Wendy Davis, PhD
Counseling & Consultation
PSI Executive Director
503-246-0941 office
503-277-3925 cell

Skip to content