(By Senators Walker, Craigo, Hunter,

Prezioso, Sharpe, Snyder, Boley, McCabe, Plymale, Minear, Ross, Unger, Helmick, Fanning, Edgell, Kessler, Jackson, Ball, Dawson, McKenzie, Oliverio, Love, Sprouse, Redd, Mitchell, Dittmar, Wooton and Tomblin, Mr. President)

Expressing the sense of the Legislature concerning the serious health problem of postpartum depression and requesting that certain actions be taken to increase public awareness of the issue and to take steps to improve recognition and treatment of this debilitating condition.

Whereas, The Health Oversight Subcommittee on Postpartum Depression during the 1999 interim period studied the medical condition that affects many new mothers known as postpartum depression, a serious medical condition resulting from the chemical imbalance which is triggered by the abrupt and dramatic drop in a woman's hormonal production following the birth of a baby; and

Whereas, The Subcommittee learned that, in its milder form,
postpartum depression can result in periods of "baby blues", but in its most serious form, postpartum psychosis, the condition can lead to the mother's suicide, attempted suicide or even murder of the child, known as infanticide; and
Whereas, The Subcommittee learned that many new mothers, as well as fathers, other family members, health care workers and the public at-large, have little knowledge of or appreciation for the seriousness of this condition, its potential consequences or its treatment; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That, henceforth, there shall be an annual Postpartum Depression Awareness Day during each regular legislative session; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Department of Health and Human Resources, through its Bureau for Public Health, should provide to all hospitals, health maintenance organizations, clinics, primary care and community centers, behavioral health centers, obstetrician and gynecologist offices, birthing centers and pediatrician offices complete and understandable information about postpartum depression, its symptoms, its treatment and its prevention.