(405 ILCS 95/5)
Findings and purposes.
(a) The General Assembly finds all of the following:
(1) Perinatal mental health disorders, commonly
referred to as "postpartum depression", include a wide range of emotional, psychological, and physiological reactions to childbirth, including feelings of hopelessness, excessive guilt, sustained sadness, inability to feel pleasure, low energy, sleep and appetite disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide, which challenge the stamina of a woman during pregnancy or after childbirth, and impair her ability to function and care for her child.
(2) Every year, more than 500,000 women experience
the anxiety, hopelessness, desolation, and fatigue of perinatal mental health disorders during pregnancy, in the early postpartum months, and into their child's first year of life.
(3) Women at highest risk for perinatal mental health
disorders can be those with previous mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety or panic disorder, and those with a family member with a history of such mental health disorders. However, perinatal mental health disorders frequently strike without warning in women without any past mental health disorders and with or without any complications in pregnancy.
(4) Many women suffering from perinatal mental health
disorders require counseling and treatment, yet many do not realize that they need help or are unable to find and secure appropriate resources.
(5) In addition to the mother, the effects of
perinatal mental health disorders can also significantly impact the infant, as well as the father, other children, and extended family members. Perinatal mental health disorders can affect the mother's ability to respond sensitively to her infant's needs and can strain the family relationships.
(b) The purpose of this Act is:
(1) to provide information to women and their
families about perinatal mental health disorders in order to lower the likelihood that new mothers will continue to suffer from this illness in silence;
(2) to develop procedures for assessing women for
perinatal mental health disorders during prenatal and postnatal visits to licensed health care professionals; and
(3) to promote early detection of perinatal mental
health disorders to promote early care and treatment and, when medically appropriate, to avoid medication.
(Source: P.A. 95-469, eff. 1-1-08.)