Letters to the Editor

A vulnerable time

Thank you for publishing the “Where to get care?” series and educating our community about mental health support in San Luis Obispo County. By highlighting the stressors families experience when a loved one struggles with a mental health disorder, we come to recognize our shared responsibility to organize local and accessible mental health resources that strengthens all family members.

Center for Family Strengthening manages the Postpartum Depression Support Line, a prevention resource offered to all families in San Luis Obispo County. Postpartum depression impacts up to 25 percent of women annually and is the second most common cause of hospitalization for all women in the U.S., the first being childbirth. Most important, suicide is a leading cause of death among pregnant and postpartum women in the United States. Suicidal ideation and depressive disorders remain underdetected in prenatal settings because most women seeking prenatal care are not screened for depression.

Women who suffer with acute postpartum depression must travel out of our county for hospital treatment. A local hospital specializing in mental health services and postpartum depression support is needed for these women and their families during this vulnerable time when they need the most help.