NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City health officials are setting a goal of screening every pregnant woman and new mother for maternal depression.

First lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery announced the initiative Tuesday.

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“Studies suggest that at least 1 in every 10 pregnant women and new mothers suffer from it,” McCray said. “Here in New York City, that means 12,000 to 15,000 cases every year.”

As a first step, the city’s public hospitals and Maimonides Medical Center have set a two-year deadline to screen all new mothers for depression and connect them with mental health treatment if needed.

The Greater New York Hospital Association also will add mental health services for new mothers at its hospitals.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio said screening for maternal depression “should be a part of routine care.”

“I want to tell new and soon-to-be new mothers here in New York City: If you need help, you are not alone. Help is available, and we will make sure you get it,” de Blasio said in a statement.

McCray said too many pregnant women and new mothers don’t get the attention they should, and are afraid to seek help “because they worry about being judged.”

“The good news is postpartum depression is treatable,” McCray said. “When we treat it, we improve the lives of thousands of women each year and we give their babies a healthier start.”

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