Bravo, Hennepin Healthcare, for validating and normalizing the incredibly difficult and overwhelming experience women can go through after pregnancy: postpartum depression and anxiety (“When it’s more than baby blues,” front page, May 8). Its new facility will address both.

As a mental health social worker and a current masters of social work student, I have worked with mothers recovering from postpartum depression and anxiety. It is important that we bring awareness to this often-ignored issue, as it affects multiple areas of a woman’s life. Having a community center where mothers can go to gain support, love and an understanding of their mental health is so incredibly important.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, postpartum depression and anxiety affects at least 15 percent of Minnesota mothers, increasing to 30 percent in low-income areas. Postpartum mental health concerns can affect the mother and the development of the child, but successful strategies exist: support from family and friends, therapy, medication, exercise and education. It seems the new center will provide support in all these areas, and potentially more.

As excited as I am about the center opening, I would encourage Hennepin Healthcare to continue to consider the potential barriers that have already caused mothers difficulty in seeking help, including transportation and language barriers. This new system is the perfect place to address these barriers and to create a community center to best support mothers going through postpartum depression and anxiety.

Amanda Anderson, St. Paul


To UnitedHealth CEO: You oppose single-payer, but Americans don’t

It is easy to oppose Medicare for All when you made $17.3 million last year, as UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann did. It is easy to oppose Medicare for All when those millions of dollars come as a result of inflated health care costs driven by the corporate greed of a largely capitalistic medical industry. It is easy to oppose Medicare for All when you are in the minority that would not benefit from a single-payer system.

Making a universal system of private care would put more money in Wichmann’s pocket at the expense of Americans, many of whom have already been so catastrophically affected by economic inequality that they can hardly afford to put food on the table. The citizens of our country are in desperate need of a system in which nobody will ever go bankrupt thanks to cancer treatment again, and in which enormous profits can no longer be made off the suffering of others.

A temporary destabilization of the nation’s health system is exactly what we need in this country. The status quo is clearly only working for a select few, and the very ideals associated with democracy tell us the system should be shaken up to benefit the majority instead. It’s time we got on par with other developed nations, whose universal care costs are lower than ours, yet they produce far better health outcomes.

Americans don’t want what Wichmann wants. Americans want to be able to afford to stay in good health, and a universal system would provide just that.

Amelia Reed, St. Paul


After years of attacks, nothing has changed except the death toll

“I’m OK, but all of my friends are dead.”

That was the statement from a 6-year-old girl back in 2012, the only survivor from her classroom at the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. It’s hard to believe almost seven years have gone by since that event, a horror that shook our nation.

But another shooting just happened in Colorado, again involving children, but this time it barely made it onto the front pages. It happened only miles away from Columbine, which recently observed the 20-year anniversary of its own massacre. Only one teenager lost his life this time, but others remain in critical condition and more people are forever traumatized.

What has changed in those 20 years? Even from the seven years in Connecticut? Aside from more needless death of our nation’s youth, and more thoughts and prayers from our leaders, barely anything. We should have done something about this long ago, but we just think to ourselves, “Oh no, not another one,” and “Our hearts go out to those affected.”

And the cycle continues.

Connor Johnson, Lakeville

• • •

Another school shooting. How many will die before we act? Will the number equal the number who died in the Vietnam War? What will it take?

Minnesota Sen. Paul Gazelka, the bill passed in the House offers a start. Background checks and red-flag laws do not hinder hunters’ ability to enjoy the sport while offering increased safety to all Minnesotans. Please act on the proposed bill in the Senate. It is not one day too early.

Connie DeGrote, Northfield


Don’t criminalize a family’s tragedy

In the name of all things just, release Kristopher Taylor to his family and community immediately (“Heat kills 4-year-old boy left in SUV while dad worked,” May 7). We must wrap him and his family in love and support following the heartbreaking death of his 4-year-old son, Riley. As a citizen of Ramsey County, I vehemently object to the use of our criminal justice system to respond to this tragedy. Taylor made an awful error in judgment in the care of his son, with a devastating outcome. He should be provided with counseling and compassionate support as he grapples with unimaginable grief.

And all of us in Ramsey County should ask ourselves why Riley’s mom and dad had no better alternative for child care when they had to go to work. The death of this child will leave a gaping hole in the soul of our community. We must not compound this loss by criminalizing his father.

Nancy Whitley, Little Canada


Cities focus on other issues while the biggest one goes unaddressed

A Minneapolis City Council committee this week voted to revise Neighborhoods 2020, an initiative that aims to restructure the city’s neighborhood organizations once their current funding diminishes next year (“Mpls. to rethink its 2020 proposal,” May 7). Over the next week, the city will attempt to craft a more fair, less bureaucratic proposal that will better serve its residents.

While clearly important, this is far from the most important challenge facing residents of Minneapolis and Americans alike.

The country is in a housing crisis. A person earning the prevailing minimum wage can hardly afford a modest two-bedroom apartment anywhere in America. However, because of inadequate funding, only 1 in 4 eligible households nationally can get rental housing assistance. And reckless federal spending caps threaten to cut off even more struggling families.

Stable housing makes our lives and our communities better. It improves job performance and helps our children stay happy, healthy and safe. Kids do better in school when they have a reliable place to come home to.

Everyone deserves a home. I call on U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith in Washington to avoid deep cuts to housing programs by raising the federal spending caps and to support significant new investments in federal housing assistance in the next budget.

Matt Rogers, Minneapolis