WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine believes the country must do everything it can to support military mothers.
“The burdens of serving in dangerous places, the burdens of moving here and there and uprooting family,” Kaine said.
To help them, Kaine introduced a bill to fund a study examining the postpartum mental health needs of service members or their spouses.
“The mental health issues are just issues I hear about repeatedly as I talk to military spouses, military moms, military families,” Kaine said.
Kaine says the bill can help remove barriers to better mental health care.
“If people feel stigma about saying they need mental health services, then we underreport them and if we underreport them, then we don’t train enough people to deal with the real need,” Kaine said.
Organizations like the National Partnership For Women and Families say this piece of legislation can save lives.
“Life in the military is distinct and adds stressors to the many stressors that people in the general population experience,” National Partnership of Women and Families Director of Childbirth Connections Carol Sakala said.
Sakala says she has seen new mothers plagued with these challenges.
“Postpartum depression has a huge impact on the family, on the development of the child, etc. So, this is an opportunity to be preventive and to give military families the support they need,” Sakala said.
Kaine says this bill will help the Department of Defense assess the status of mental health for military moms, now and in the future.