UAMS Kicks off Campaign to Raise Awareness of Pregnancy-related Depression

By todd

LITTLE ROCK — A public awareness campaign on the effects of depression during and after pregnancy kicks off today thanks to a $250,000 federal grant to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).


The ANGELS (Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning and System) program was awarded the grant to create a statewide, bilingual public awareness program designed to reduce the stigma associated with pregnancy-related depression.


The project, called DREAM (Depression Relief Education in Antenatal Medicine), includes surveys to doctors in Arkansas about how they understand, identify and treat depression during and after pregnancy. A follow-up survey will help to determine if the campaign was successful.


“Many pregnant women and new mothers are reluctant to tell anyone that they are experiencing the symptoms of depression,” said Linda Worley, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology. “Others may not even realize that they are depressed and can be successfully treated, even while pregnant or breastfeeding.”


Worley is co-director of the DREAM project along with Curtis Lowery, M.D., medical director of the ANGELS program, director of the division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and professor and director of obstetrics for the UAMS College of Medicine.


Physicians with questions about treatment options and women who think they might be experiencing depression, can call the ANGELS call center at (501) 526-7425 or toll free at (866) 273-3835.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 residents and is one of the state’s largest public employers with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.3 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.