Duxbury Tragedy Leads Business Owners to Raise Awareness for Maternal Mental Health

The deaths of three young children allegedly strangled by their mother in Duxbury, Massachusetts, has sparked conversation about the seriousness and prevalence of postpartum depression

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Two Massachusetts business owners are making it their mission to bring awareness to maternal mental health after the tragedy in Duxbury.

Patrick Clancy's heartfelt message showing support and love for his wife after she was accused of killing their children brought the women to tears.

"He is a symbol of somebody that really understood that this is much bigger than any of us realized," said Melanie O'Neil.

She and her team at Rustic Marlin in Hanover have been hard at work making signs and keychains showing support for new moms. Some of the signs say, "Stronger Together" and "Moms Matter."

All of the proceeds will go directly to the Blue Dot Project, a national nonprofit in support of maternal mental health awareness.

"I never knew what it was, and the Blue Dot symbolizes that this is a safe space that you can talk to, and that I'm here in solidarity for you," O'Neil said. "It's similar to the pink ribbon, but it allows women to know that."

The nonprofit was ecstatic to hear from O'Neil. So was Duxbury business owner and mother Sandra Mieggs.

"There are no words when something like this happens, but only action," said Mieggs.

She is selling the Rustic Marlin signs in her boutique, Oropa. She's donating 100% of proceeds to the Blue Dot Project.

Mieggs is also selling a specific sign for the people of Duxbury. She'll donate 50% of those proceeds to the Clancy family, and the other half to another local project.

O'Neil and Mieggs were stunned by a statement put out by a Boston Medical Center nurse explaining the prevalence of postpartum depression.

"It crosses racial, socioeconomic, and educational barriers," nurse educator Cheryl Slater said in the statement. "It's staggering to think that 1 in 5 women who are pregnant will experience some postpartum mental illness. Postpartum mental illness is the #1 complication of pregnancy."

"Because of this horrific tragedy in Duxbury, it's time that it's brought out in the light, and like I said, we erase the stigma and shame that goes along with it," said Mieggs.

The women are hopeful these signs and keychains will give women the strength and support needed. The items will be sold on the Rustic Marlin website, the Blue Dot Project website and in other area stores.

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