Model, author, activist and pop culture icon Chrissy Teigen announced today that she is partnering with Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and its women’s health program ‘AHN Women ’ to launch a social cause initiative – #MyWishForMoms – which aims to create open dialogue among women about postpartum depression and anxiety.
Last year, more than 500,000 – or one in seven – new moms developed postpartum depression, yet only 15 percent of them received treatment, according to the American Psychological Association. Postpartum depression is characterized by extreme feelings of sadness, anxiety and exhaustion that can threaten the wellbeing of moms, babies and their families.
“When I was approached with this opportunity – to help be the voice for women experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety – I thought, ‘this is perfect!’. I’m grateful to be able to use the platform that I’ve been given to reduce the stigma that many women feel when talking about these very real and treatable conditions,” said Teigen. “I wish I had known that postpartum depression can happen to anyone because I didn’t think it could happen to me. Here I was, with my perfect little Luna and a supportive husband, yet I was truly struggling.”
Throughout Maternal Mental Health month, observed annually in May, Teigen (@chrissyteigen) will ask moms to share what they wish they would have known about postpartum depression and anxiety using the hashtag #MyWishForMoms. Additionally, AHN Women will educate families on the warning signs of postpartum depression and anxiety, as well as available treatment options, via MyWishForMoms.org.
“My wish for moms is that they know they aren’t alone, and they are supported by the more than 500,000 women who share their experience each year,” Teigen said. “Imagine if we can get as many people talking about postpartum depression and anxiety as those experiencing it, and let them know help is available.”
Teigen recently visited the AHN Women Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Perinatal Mental Health in Pittsburgh to meet with women who have received treatment for postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Joining the patients on the AHN Women signature green sofa, she filmed a series of videos highlighting each woman’s story and demonstrating how AHN’s unique program is changing the way postpartum depression and anxiety are treated.
“We have created a novel therapeutic environment that brings available resources to women and their families in an effort to help get them well, bond and grow together. We are so pleased to work with Chrissy, and commend her for being open about her own experience in order to help other families,” said Sarah Homitsky, MD, a psychiatrist and Medical Director of Women’s Behavioral Health at AHN.
About the AHN Women Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Perinatal Mental Health
- This innovative center is one of only a few in the U.S. offering a variety of mother-baby treatments for pregnancy-related depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder under one roof.
- The 7,300-square-foot facility houses rooms for individual therapy as well as space for intensive outpatient care – a three-hours-daily, three-day-a-week program that focuses on group therapy, mother-child bonding, and complementary modalities for stress relief, such as yoga and meditation.
- The center allows mother and baby to stay together during treatment as moms learn skills for connecting with her baby and enhancing their bond.
- Child care for older children of moms who are undergoing treatment is provided, addressing a major barrier to care for many women.
- The Alexis Joy D’Achille Center is named after Alexis Joy D’Achille who tragically took her own life just six weeks after the birth of her daughter, Adriana, in 2013.
- The program is located at Allegheny Health Network’s West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“This wonderful new facility is the culmination of our journey and vision for transforming the way postpartum depression is diagnosed and treated,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, President and Chief Executive Officer, AHN. “The D’Achille family’s passion and determination, together with our organization’s commitment to excellence in women’s and mental health, has resulted in a truly game-changing program at AHN that is improving the lives of countless women and their families.”
For more information on this cause, visit http://www.mywishformoms.org/.