PITTSBURGH – One in five mothers struggle with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders — yet 75 percent go untreated. In WQED Multimedia’s newest 30-minute documentary, viewers will meet individuals and families whose lives have been profoundly impacted by maternal mental health conditions while also highlighting the people and programs working for positive change.
“You’re Not Alone: Pregnancy, Postpartum and the Mental Health Crisis” premieres on WQED-TV on Thursday, December 14 at 8 p.m. and repeats Monday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m. The documentary will also be available on WQED’s Mental Health Matters webpage: wqed.org/mentalhealth.
Depression, anxiety, PTSD and other psychological difficulties are the most common complications of pregnancy and postpartum. The documentary’s producers, Anne Casper and Annette Banks, wanted to amplify the voices of those impacted.
“It has been a remarkable experience providing mothers with a platform to share their stories. They exhibit immense courage and offer valuable guidance. Each interviewee serves as a source of empowerment, facilitating access to deserved treatment for new parents and reassuring other mothers that they are not alone,” says Casper. “Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, the societal stress on birthing people, and its effect on underserved communities have long been overlooked. I am passionate about shedding light on this issue and contributing to positive change through the generosity of others. “
While the ongoing stigma of mental illness continues to prevent many in the general population from getting treatment, some people are at particular risk. Women of color, women living in rural areas and birthing people within the LGBTQIA+ community are less likely to get treatment or unable to seek help. And when they do, they are more likely to face discrimination or biased treatment.
In Western Pennsylvania, family-focused mental health care, support groups and doulas that provide birthing companionship are helping turn the tide. New research, medication and culturally competent providers are also showing improved outcomes. Yet, there is much to be done.
This documentary is made possible exclusively by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
WQED Multimedia starts conversations and creates experiences that educate, entertain and inspire our neighbors in Pittsburgh and across southwest Pennsylvania. Founded in 1954 as an experiment in educational community-supported television, WQED was a forerunner to PBS.
Our content creators produce impactful stories that delve into the rich mosaic of our region’s past, present, and future. We cover a wide range of topics, from arts and culture to pressing societal issues that impact our lives. We profile remarkable individuals and organizations who work to strengthen our communities. Our Learning Neighborhoods support children, in partnership with area schools and libraries, and extend to high school students exploring media careers through the WQED Film Academy. Known as “The Voice of the Arts,” WQED-FM provides a vital platform that amplifies our vibrant and diverse cultural assets, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
WQED Multimedia operates WQED-TV (PBS); WQED World; WQED Create; WQED Showcase; WQED PBS KIDS Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel; plus various streams, apps, and interactive experiences.