Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pilot program helping rural female veterans suffering from postpartum depression

A pilot program created by the University of Iowa and the Veterans Administration aims to help rural veteran mothers suffering from postpartum depression, Anne Easker reports for Iowa Now. Michael O’Hara, professor in the UI Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, told Easker, “Women in rural areas often don’t seek out or have access to mental health care. Reaching out in particular to rural veteran women seemed to me like it was just something important to do.”

About 40 women have participated in the pilot program, MomMoodBooster, which consists of six sessions over six weeks "that target managing mood, increasing pleasant activities, managing negative thoughts, increasing positive thoughts and planning for the future," Easker writes. "Phone coaches also call to check in with the women, tracking progress, answering questions and providing encouragement."

Each year about one in eight new mothers—about 300,000 total—suffer from postpartum depression, according to the MomMoodBooster website. The program is open to women who have had a baby in the past year, are feeling down or depressed and have access to high-speed Internet.

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