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Blue Cross of California Launches Maternity Depression Program
Date:1/28/2008

Awareness campaign targets new mothers in need of support

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Motherhood is often characterized as a magical experience for women with only a fading reference to the "baby blues." However, according to the National Mental Health Association, in the first three months after childbirth, 14.5 percent of women may become withdrawn, unresponsive, or exhibit negative behavior toward their infant. Mothers experiencing these conflicting feelings may be suffering from Postpartum Depression (PPD) which once diagnosed can be treated. Blue Cross of California (Blue Cross) has launched a Maternity Depression Program that provides new moms depression screenings, education, and support to help them obtain behavioral health treatment during and post-pregnancy.

The Maternity Depression Program is designed to provide information and screening tools to all Blue Cross members who are new mothers while simultaneously identifying members who are at high risk for depression. Since May 2007, Blue Cross has mailed more than 13,000 educational packets to new mothers.

Members who screen positive are encouraged to either share the results with their physician or contact a Behavioral Health Clinician for additional screening, referrals or coordination with providers. If a member needs extra support she can call to enroll in the program and the clinician will provide follow-up calls as necessary. Members can receive depression education, assistance in understanding their treatment options and support to obtain appropriate care. Behavioral Health staff can help to coordinate care with the member's medical team. Routine follow-up is also provided until such time that the member is fully engaged in treatment.

Additionally, because PPD is usually under detected and under treated, Blue Cross has delivered more than 10,000 provider tool kits to California OB/GYN practitioners and pediatricians. These "tool kits" include
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SOURCE Blue Cross of California
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