YCMF Advisory Committee Observes Postpartum Depression Awareness Month with Film Screening




On May 11th, the Yates Children Memorial Fund Advisory Committee at MHA of Greater Houston hosted more than 200 mothers, advocates and medical community members for a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Dark Side of the Full Moon,” at Midtown Arts & Theater Center (MATCH) Houston to bring greater focus to the mental health of mothers. With the help of Executive Producer Dr. Shoshana Bennett, the film follows two women with firsthand knowledge of the challenges of postpartum depression, as they document their journey in uncovering disparities within the medical community to effectively screen, refer, and treat new mothers.

Following the viewing of the film, Sherry J. Duson, M.A., LPC-S, LMFT-A, (Director of The Center for Postpartum Depression) moderated a panel of experts, which included Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., (Executive Producer of Dark Side of the Full Moon and author), Rhoda Seplowitz, M.D., P.A., (private practice psychiatrist) and Jasmine Burton, Ph.D. (founder of Essence Psychological Health Services). Special guest, State Representative Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), joined the expert panelists and shared insight on the ways in which legislation concerning perinatal mental health affects Texas communities.

During the 2015 Legislative Session, Rep. Thompson authored House Bill 2079 (H.B. 2079), which in addition to Mental Health Month, deems May as Postpartum Depression Awareness Month. Rep. Thompson serves as chairwoman the House Local and Consent Calendars Committee and the Women's' Health Caucus, and co-chair of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking. She is also a member of the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee, the House Judiciary & Civil Practices Committee and the Select Committee on State Sovereignty.

Pictured above (from left to right): Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., Rhoda Seplowitz, M.D., P.A., Jasmine Burton, Ph.D. and Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston)