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1 West Broad Street
Suite 100
Hazleton, PA 18201
Phone: (570) 453-1344
Fax: (570) 459-3946
Hours:  8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m
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Capitol Office
47 East Wing,
Main Capitol
PO Box 202116
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2116
Phone: (717) 260-6136
Phone (Toll-Free): 855-282-0611

Fax: (717) 782-2921
Toohil’s Postpartum Depression Bill Approved by Committee
5/23/2017
HARRISBURG – Legislation co-sponsored by Reps. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) and Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh), that would offer state assistance to Pennsylvania mothers struggling with postpartum depression and their babies, today was unanimously approved by the House Children and Youth Committee. House Bill 200 now moves to the full House for consideration.

Under the proposal, mothers at high risk for postpartum depression and their infants who are referred by a physician, health care provider or parent would be automatically eligible for assessment and tracking by Pennsylvania’s Early Intervention programs under the Early Intervention Services System Act. These programs exist in all 67 counties in the Commonwealth.

“There is a lot of stigma attached to postpartum depression. People don’t talk about it. They don’t reach out for help,” Toohil told committee members. “Many times, a doctor will see that a mother is dealing with postpartum depression and all they can do is refer that mom for services, but in many cases she will not seek treatment.”

Committee Chairman Kathy Watson (R-Bucks) pointed out that more is understood about the condition than when the law was passed in 1990.

“Providing early intervention services to these infants and new mothers helps ensure that both baby and mom are healthy and thriving,” said Watson. “We have seen cases of serious neglect traced back to postpartum depression.”

“I thank Chairman Watson for bringing our legislation up for a vote,” said Toohil. “I am hopeful it will soon be considered by the full House so that we can begin offering this critical assistance.”

According to the American Psychological Association, about 15 percent of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. This means that approximately 21,000 babies and their mothers in Pennsylvania are affected by the condition annually.

A companion bill in the Senate was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in April.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
717.260.6136
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil


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