Perinatal depression palm cards offered

In an effort to educate New Jersey women on the signs and resources available for treating postpartum depression (PPD) and other perinatal mood disorders that can affect women before, during and after pregnancy, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has produced a palm card to be distributed through beauty salons, YMCAs and Jewish Community Centers across the state.

Middlesex County distribution locations include:

Vito Mazza Salon Spa, 114 Main St., Woodbridge, 732-636-0119;

SuperCuts, 765 Saint George Ave., Woodbridge, 732-855-0195;

Master Cuts, Woodbridge Mall (next to Sears), 732-750-3636;

Hollywood Tans, 253 Route 18 south (18 Central Shopping Center), East Brunswick, 732-967-9400;

Hollywood Tans, 767 Saint George Ave., Woodbridge, 732-634-7660;

Curves, 3 Lexington Ave., East Brunswick, 732-254-0505;

Curves, 75 Raritan Ave. (Route 27), Highland Park, 732-249-8400;

Alexandria’s Shoes, 101 Main St., Woodbridge, 732-636-7070.

The Speak Up When You’re Down palm card, available in English and Spanish, lists several of the signs of perinatal depression, which may include crying; feelings of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness; and lack of interest in family and friends. The card also directs individuals who need help to the DHSS’ statewide family helpline (1-800- 328-3838), which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions about perinatal mood disorders (PMDs) and available resources. The card also lists the comprehensive informational website at

DHSS launched the Speak Up When You’re Down campaign in 2005 to encourage mothers experiencing symptoms of PPD to seek medical help and to reduce the social stigma associated with depression. When Gov. Jon Corzine signed the Postpartum Depression Screening bill in 2006, the campaign expanded to assist health care providers in implementing the new law and to educate women and family members about the benefits of screening. New Jersey became the first state in the nation to require that health care professionals educate and screen all new mothers for PPD.

PPD can affect any woman who has recently had a baby, ended a pregnancy, miscarried, or who has stopped breast-feeding. One woman in eight will experience PPD. From 11,000-16,000 women suffer from PPD every year in New Jersey.

Talking about PMDs is the first step. Individuals who are suffering from or who know someone who may be suffering from postpartum depression or other perinatal mood disorders should log on to www.njspeakup. gov or call 1-800-328-3838 for more information and services.