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Mothers in Crisis

Nearly 16 years ago, the tragic deaths of the five children of Andrea and Rusty Yates helped create a new era in women's mental health. For Houstonians, the Yates tragedy happened in our hometown, in our backyard, but it had a global impact. Today, we as a society recognize and more closely focus on maternal mental health and associated issues such as education, awareness, legislation, treatment and care of mothers affected with perinatal mental illnesses including postpartum depression (PPD), and the even more serious postpartum psychosis. While we are making strides in this area of women's health, so much more still needs to be done. A mother's mental health is critical to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of herself and her children.

Information and awareness are key. For the more than a decade and a half since this family's loss, the Yates Children Memorial Fund (YCMF) for Women's Mental Health Education at Mental Health America of Greater Houston and a core group of mental health and primary care professionals, organizations and individuals have been working to develop a generation of informed and empowered mothers and a community energized to change the landscape of women's mental health.