Houston area mental health activist heads to Washington, D.C. to address the needs of women’s mental health postpartum
Houston, TX, April 10, 2017 – Kay Matthews, founder and director of The Shades of Blue Project, based in Houston, travels to Washington, D.C. May 16th – 19th for Federal Advocacy Days. The Shades of Blue Project partnering with 2020 Mom and the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health will push for funding of the 21st Century Cures Act. This act which contains many mental health provisions was signed into law by President Barack Obama December 13, 2013.
Funding the 21st Century Cures Act will allocate $5 million each fiscal year from 2018-2022 for grants that support the identification and treatment of maternal depression and other maternal mental health disorders. The language is originally found in H.R. 3525, and getting that aspect properly funded is the primary goal of The Shades of Blue Project. As the law is written, funding must go to a minimum of three states.
The Shades of Blue Project works tirelessly to address the needs of women of color suffering from postpartum depression. Awareness and proper resources are often lacking, making obtaining funding a top priority.
“The conversation around maternal health shifts once the child is born. Too often, the needs of the mother are ignored," says Matthews. "In this work I have found we are stronger in numbers than we are apart. For this reason, I am grateful for the opportunity to join other activist and health workers to insure we have the funding to help as many women as we can.”
Kay Matthews is a licensed community who became impassioned to serve in the area of maternal mental health following the stillborn birth of her daughter. From that pain, she birthed BabyCakes and Brunch, a quarterly baby shower event that distributes newborn supplies to underprivileged mothers. In continuance of that work, The Shades of Blue Project was born to attend to the mental as well as physical needs of new mothers. In 2016, Kay was awarded her own day in the City of Houston by proclamation of the Mayor.
The Shades of Blue Project is dedicated to helping minority women who are suffering from postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Support is available before, during and after child-birth. The goal of Shades of Blue Project is to reach women globally helping to restore them mentally, physically and spiritually.
On May 28, Shades of Blue will host their 4th Annual Post-Partum Depression Walk and Family Fun Day in Steubner Airline Park in Houston, TX.
Shades of Blue Project
National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health