While a student at the Middlebury Institute, Maureen Fura MPA ’09 found herself seriously troubled and emotionally unstable almost from the moment her son was conceived. She sought the assistance of numerous health care professionals before finally finding help for her condition. Desperate to understand and put a name to what happened to her, and to find out why she went untreated for so long, her search for answers led her to Jennifer, who had experienced the same debilitating disorder as Maureen and was now fighting a one-woman campaign to bring mental health services to pregnant women. Maureen’s acclaimed film Dark Side of the Full Moon documents the two women’s quest for answers.
Maureen returned to Monterey for a screening of the film on Sunday, followed by an informative and at times passionate panel discussion including herself, Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker and several local maternal health care experts. Also present for the screening was fellow alumna Camille Goldberg MBA ‘09, who co-produced the film. Maureen received a warm welcome from the Middlebury Institute and larger Monterey community at this well-attended event, and from the responses to her brave film, it is clear that she has sparked the beginnings of a movement to improve mental health care for mothers.
Dark Side of the Full Moon is more than a personal journey; delving into the issue of support for mothers and families in the U.S. and revealing a large disconnect within the medical community regarding treatment of the estimated 1.3 million women affected by maternal mental health issues each year. The film is at once shocking and full of hope, as this condition can have devastating consequences, but is considered highly treatable if caught in time. In true Middlebury Institute fashion, Maureen received plenty of advice and support from faculty, alumni, and students who are eager to be a part of the solution.