Addabbo announces Senate approval of maternal mental health legislation

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

March 31, 2023

As we close out Women’s History Month, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is pleased to announce the passage of a bill (S.2359) he co-sponsors, directing the NYS Commissioner of Mental Health to establish a maternal mental health workgroup.

“This workgroup will provide a clearer understanding of our maternal mental health policies, programs, and funding sources,” Addabbo said. “Appropriately diagnosing and treating women affected by maternal mental health disorders will enrich the lives of these mothers, their children, and the growing families who depend on them,” added Addabbo. 

Specifically, the workgroup would focus on maternal mental health, including perinatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. It would identify underrepresented and vulnerable populations, risk factors, and successful screening and treatment methods, ultimately providing recommendations on policy initiatives and funding models.

Maternal depression affects one in eight new mothers, with the risk being significantly higher for new mothers of color, who are also the least likely to receive help. Maternal depression is a wide range of emotional and psychological reactions one may experience during pregnancy or after childbirth. Feelings of despair or guilt, prolonged sadness, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, appetite changes, and thoughts of suicide or harming the baby are all possible symptoms. Maternal depression can create bonding issues between a gestational parent and their baby, contribute to sleep and feeding problems, and cause emotional, developmental, and verbal complications in children. These children may need greater remediation, intervention, and resources later in development.

If you need of help, please call 9-1-1 or contact the Postpartum Resource Center of NY ( at 1-855-631-0001, seven days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm.

After passing the Senate, the legislation is now under review by the Assembly Mental Health Committee. 

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