The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment launched a pregnancy-related depression and anxiety educational campaign for Spanish-speaking pregnant women and new moms. The campaign raises awareness of the symptoms and commonality of pregnancy-related depression and anxiety, and the support available for Latinas.
“Mental health is a heavily stigmatized subject in the Hispanic culture and is easily denied and overlooked,” said Dr. Yajaira Johnson-Esparza, a licensed clinical psychologist at Salud Family Health Centers and member of the state’s Spanish-Language Pregnancy-Related Depression Task Force. “It’s vital for moms to know they are not alone and that Colorado resources do exist for our community and culture.”
“It’s okay to ask for help and put our needs first as moms because we best care for our babies and families when we care for ourselves, too.”
Women of color experience pregnancy-related depression and anxiety at rates double the average for all women. The experience often reflects a number of complex stress factors, including lower education, lower wages and less social support, as well as community-level gaps in services for referral and treatment.
Pregnancy-related depression and anxiety can occur any time during pregnancy through the baby’s first birthday. It may also happen after a miscarriage, pregnancy loss or after adopting a baby. Symptoms differ for everyone and might include the following:
- Feelings of isolation and worry
- Crying and sadness
- Loss of appetite and trouble sleeping
- Feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness
- Loss of interest, joy or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
- Feelings of anger or irritability
Pregnancy-related depression and anxiety are treatable and may include improved self-care, social and familial support, and/or counseling. The new health department campaign uses Spanish-language television, radio, digital and social media, online resources, health care providers and community partners to reach Latina pregnant women and new moms with concerns. New moms can get the support they need through resources available at www.postpartum.net/ayuda and by calling a Spanish-language free and confidential phone line at 1-800-944-4773.
“It’s okay to ask for help and put our needs first as moms because we best care for our babies and families when we care for ourselves, too,” said Betsaida Jarama, a Colorado mom who experienced pregnancy-related depression and anxiety after the birth of her son. “Finding therapy and other women to talk to helped me get my anxiety and stress in control and understand it was common to experience what I was going through.”
The campaign builds on the state’s English-language pregnancy-related depression and anxiety campaign, launched in October 2016, but is based on market research with Colorado Latinas.
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