ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When a New Mexico mom lost her daughter to a form of postpartum depression, she vowed to make sure no other new or soon-to-be moms experience that same pain.
Kassy Williams, just 21-years old, took her own life in 2014 after suffering from perinatal depression. Her mom, Susan Aguayo, believes Kassy would still be alive today, had her family known more about her illness.
“This is the beginning of the journey being able to give more awareness about how Kassy passed away and the illnesses out there that not many people are aware of,” said Aguayo.
Kassy’s Hope is a film based on Aguayo’s daughter and this specific form of depression she suffered from that not only affects women after childbirth but also during pregnancy.
“It really started creeping up on her from having anxiety, which we didn’t know about. The normal, hormonal crying, which we all hear about,” said Aguayo.
But she didn’t realize what her daughter was going through until it was too late.
“She ended up taking her life,” she said.
Kassy, who was four months pregnant when she died, had tried to understand what she was going through too.
“Her Googling is what helped us start researching. Then I contacted the doctors to find out, what is this? They said it’s perinatal,” said Aguayo.
The shock of the death of both Kassy and her unborn child prompted Aguayo to create the documentary with the help of Lovelace and UNMH professionals.
“It’s estimated that the population we serve at the UNM has a 30% prevalence rate for postpartum depression in New Mexico,” said Dr. Kimothy Cain.
“It makes sense that we be part of a movement to bring awareness to that and help support resources for women who have those struggles,” said Kym Halliday-Clear.
Now, doctors are considering using the film as a crucial learning tool.
“This would be, I think, a critical piece to use in terms of educating residents, educating nurses, health care providers,” said Dr. Simi Brar.
Aguayo believes that’s something Kassy would’ve wanted, is to help others.
“From opening the non-profit organization, to staying strong in faith and staying strong in helping other people, that’s how she was. She would be saying ‘thanks mom,'” she said.
Aguayo created a non-profit through this process called Kassy’s Kause. The group connects women with postpartum depression to each other and resources they may need.