State Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) Thursday asked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Paula Dow to investigate whether the county corrections officer who shot and killed herself and her 4-month old baby on Monday was screened, as required by law, for postpartum depression.
Codey, the sponsor of a 2006 law that requires all new mothers to be screened for PPD, Thursday reached out to Dow, who has agreed to look into the matter.
Codey is referring to the Officer Kelley McKenith, 39, of Newark who critically wounded her boyfriend and killed her son and herself as the climax to what investigators believe was a domestic dispute.
“There is a genuine suspicion that postpartum depression may have played a large factor in this incident,” Codey said. “Here you have a generally well-regarded law enforcement officer who suddenly, and tragically, does something so uncharacteristic not long after giving birth. It certainly begs the question, was she screened for postpartum depression as required by New Jersey law?”
Under the 2006 screening law, health professionals providing postnatal care are required to screen new mothers for depression symptoms prior to discharge and at the first few postnatal check-up visits. The law also requires physicians, nurse midwives and other licensed health care professionals, who provide prenatal care, to provide education to women and their families about depression in order to lower the likelihood that new mothers will continue to suffer from the illness in silence.
“This is a tragic incident, that for all we know, could have been avoided if the safety net we created had been used,” Codey said. ” My heart goes out to the family. If Officer McKenith has fallen through the cracks in our screening system, I hope we can learn from this incident to avoid a similar tragedy in the future.”
– TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
Here is the article that explains what happened. http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-14/1249357508218560.xml&coll=1
In summary, a corrections officer shot and killed her baby and herself, also wounding another in the process. From the comments it appears that the officer may have been “diagnosed” with PPD.
Posted by faasiah on 08/04/09 at 9:50PM
Actually she did suffer from PPD, & if you knew all of the things that she was going through yu wouldnt respect the way she reacted but yu would understand why she did what she did. I am not supporting the fact that she killed kaire; however it would be nice if people like you wouldnt comment and be insensitive about this situation, which you know absolutely nothing about. Nobody has the right to assume anything or judge her in any kind of was except the people who knew and loved her; & to Mayor Corey Booker, we have not only lost a child we have also lost a loved on, his mother, as well & it might be hard for you to understand but although kelley is to blame for the death of her baby and herself, my family, her family, & coworkers are still morning over her death as well.
Posted by lvansyckel on 08/04/09 at 10:37PM
Medication side effects dont discriminate, Men also become violent and suicidal due to the side effects medication (Tobin vs GSK) Man kills his wife, daughter and 9 month old grandaughter and then himself, he was on paxil for just two days. A Wyoming jury determined that Tobins actions where caused by the dug. Check out this case and others on ssristories.com. The cases of children are even more horrific. Good Ole Mary Jo Codey, she loves pushing these drugs on unsuspecting women.
Posted by deliesag on 08/04/09 at 11:08PM
Assumptions! Well people until the investigation is over, We can keep typing these might have or could have allegation or scenerios but the bottom line is that we lost a child in newark again! Something has to be done about this at the rate we going compton LA has nothing on Newark .
[[[[[ Gee, NJ, how is that mandatory PPD screening law working out for you?]]]]]
Posted by nonsequitors on 08/05/09 at 6:30PM
Meds make you not give a s’t who you hurt, easy to kill her 19 y.o. and man in bed no matter what, but meds make it easy to kill a baby. Sue the doctor who gave her the meds.
Here is my comment, with quotes from the NJ PPD website which encourages meds to pregnant and nursing mothers:
Thanks for demanding an investigation into whether she was screened “as required” by law. Perhaps you could also find out what is in her mental health history and whether she was taking antidepressants which actually do cause these heinous acts. If she was in fact screened as required by law (and what would be a possible reason why she may not have been?) then chances are that if she was diagnosed or referred for further evaluation, she would have been encouraged to take antidepressants as the New Jersey PPD website Speak Up When You’re Down encourages. By all means do an investigation.
A range of safe medications, such as antidepressants, can be prescribed to treat PMD. They are effective and pose no threat to pregnant women or nursing mothers.
Remember, perinatal mood disorders are not uncommon. Early and effective treatment can lead to recovery. You can discuss medication with an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) or a family practice physician.”
“Using medication and counseling, Susan started to work through her depression. “The medication really helped me immediately. And, I was lucky because my whole family supported me – my parents, my husband and my in-laws.”
“I’ve been treated for about three months and I feel so much better. I can smile again. I love music – in my darkest days I didn’t hear the music. I know I’m recovering from postpartum depression because I can sing to Dave Matthews again!”
For a reality check Mr. Codey, please watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k0Gq_yrZ_k