Postpartum depression is a lot more common than you realize. About 1 in 8 mothers will experience postpartum depression, psychosis, or a related maternal mental illness in their lives. Thankfully, Apple has recently teamed up with UNC Chapel Hill, Postpartum Progress, and the National Institute of Mental Health to finally create a positive change for women everywhere. Even better, they’re allowing women to take control of their PPD.
How are they doing this exactly? A new app, called PPD ACT, allows current and former postpartum depression and psychosis patients to participate in a research study via their iPhones. Seriously, all you need is your phone. How amazing is that? Postpartum Progress founder Katherine Stone told BuzzFeed:
“For us, it’s momentous because we have an opportunity to bring together at least one hundred thousand women who have been through this. What I love most is that it’s very patient centered.
It doesn’t have the restrictions of usual studies—we want to talk to moms who self-identified and those who were clinically diagnosed. It gives moms an opportunity to have a voice on this like never before.”
In 2008, UNC Chapel Hill was the first to identify a genetic variant in people with Schizophrenia, which means they have a successful track record with mental health research. UNC’s Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, one of the app’s creators, also told CNN:
“We believe it’s a real game changer for our ability to understand the biologic causes of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis and to use state of art science to develop innovative treatments, and that’s the overall goal.”
However, to achieve their goal (and conduct an extensive study), PPD ACT needs at least 100,000 participants. That could mean you. Luckily, it’s so easy to participate, so if you have suffered from PPD, don’t be afraid to download the app and start swiping.