4 May Events on Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day 


Invitation to the Association for Maternal Mental Health and Awareness

Maternal mental health problems such as anxiety disorders and depression appeared during and after pregnancy affect approximately 1 in 7 women. More than 65% of women with a history of previous depression re-experience this disorder within the first year after delivery. These postpartum disorders can occur in every woman apart of her culture, age, economic status and her nationality. The signs can appear during pregnancy or within the 12 months after delivery. The partners of these women are at increased risk linked to illness. The lack of treatment can result in unpleasant impacts on the fetus or developing child. Consequently, the probability of occurrence of impaired development and preterm delivery is higher, too. These mental disorders can result in infantile mental and behavioral problems and in delayed infantile development of skills such as knowing, understanding, perception and language skills. Moreover, they can cause effects on the brain structure. In our country, it is estimated that 133 000 to 270 000 mothers experience postpartum depression or anxiety disorders, annually. The average cost of postpartum depression amounts around £ 450,000 for the society.

However these are treatable diseases and the consequences presented above are preventable. More than 85% of mothers (and fathers) suffering from a mental disease during pregnancy or within the first year after delivery remain untreatable. Unfortunately, these persons don’t usually know that they are ill or they can’t be diagnosed, accurately. Other reasons for waiving the treatment can be the stigmatization or the thought, that they would expose their child to the drugs.

Every May since 2010, on the last Wednesday before Mother’s Day, Maternal Mental Health Day is commemorated by different events, in many countries of the world. The aim of this ritual is to let the people know the existence of reference and support groups for coping with these diseases and for healing them.

In attempt to disseminate these works, it has been constituted the international Association for Day of Maternal Mental Health Awareness in which representatives from all over the world are involved.

International speakers involved in this Association; Center for Prenatal Excellence, Australia, International Marcé Society for Prenatal Mental Health, Maternal Mental Health Alliance-UK, Mental Health Service in Wellington - New Zeland, National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health, Prenatal Mental Health Project - South Africa, Postpartum Support International-USA, Reproductive Mental Health Program, Vancouver – Canada, La Teppe Medical Center-France and Center for Women’s Mental Health in Bakirköy – the first institution in the department of women’s mental health in Turkey.

Representatives involved in this Association requested endorsement from authority positions by announcing this event.

At the same time, they invite institutions and foundations offering products or activities related to women and children in their own countries to participate in this event and support this event.

International Day of Maternal Mental Health Awareness will be commemorated in the whole world on 4 May 2016. The plan to commemorate the International Day of Maternal Mental Health Awareness and to repeat it in our country every year has been submitted to the approval to our dear minister, Dr.Mehmet Müezzinoğlu.

We are waiting for his consent.

Association for Maternal Mental Health Awareness has been constituted in Turkey with the aim to implement these events with participation of the people from every segment of society and with the aim to announce it to a large mass as far as possible.

We invite all institutions and foundations that include activities related to women and children in our country to join in this association and to implement together our activities. We request institution and foundation representatives wanting to join in this association to send their participation wish to the e-mail address

The name, insinge, logo etc. and the introductory information of foundations supporting us will be announced below our website.

4 May 2016 Maternal Mental Health Day and  Coordinator of the Association for Maternal Mental Health

Awareness - Turkey

Prof.Dr.Nazan Aydın

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