News & Events

Mary Jo Codey to Speak at Seton Hall
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Mary Jo CodeySeton Hall University College of Nursing welcomes Mary Jo Codey on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in the Nursing Amphitheatre (Caroline D. Schwartz building, Room 113) to discuss perinatal depression. Mrs. Codey’s talk, entitled, “Perinatal Depression: Speak Up When You’re Down," will take place from 5–7 p.m. and is sponsored by Gamma Nu, the Seton Hall Chapter of the Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau International. Light refreshments will be served and all are welcome to attend. Contact hours will be available; Seton Hall University is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the New Jersey State Nurses Association.

Mary Jo Codey is a devoted wife and mother, a gifted educator and counselor, and a staunch advocate for individuals whose lives are affected by mental illnesses, including postpartum depression. Mrs. Codey received a master’s degree in elementary education—with certification as a learning disabilities teacher- consultant—from Seton Hall University. She currently teaches at an elementary school in West Orange.  

A lifelong resident of New Jersey, she has been married for 33 years to the state’s 53rd governor, Richard J. Codey (D-Essex), who continues to serve in the New Jersey Senate.  

Personal experiences with both clinical depression and breast cancer make Mrs. Codey uniquely qualified to speak out on both of these serious health concerns.

As New Jersey’s First Lady, she welcomed the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the Governor’s newly created Task Force on Mental Health. Having suffered from postpartum depression, Mrs. Codey helped launch a ground-breaking statewide campaign that raised awareness of PPD and offered education and resources to women, their families, and healthcare professionals. The campaign—“Recognizing Postpartum Depression: Speak Up When You’re Down”—featured the First Lady in radio and TV spots. She has been tireless in sharing her story through public appearances and interviews to continue raising public awareness of PPD and encouraging women to seek treatment. Mrs. Codey was instrumental in the passage of the Postpartum Depression Screening Bill, which became New Jersey law in April 2006. The law allocates $4.5 million to help healthcare professionals educate expectant parents about postpartum depression and provide screening for symptoms after delivery. 

Mrs. Codey also served as ambassador to the Governor’s Book Club, which encouraged reading and literacy skills among elementary school children. It gave her an opportunity to visit schools around the state doing something she loves: reading to children. Looking back on her 14 months as the state’s First Lady, she has said: “I wanted to take all negative things that have happened in my life and what I’ve learned from them and put that hard-won knowledge to use in helping others in similar situations. I had a limited window of opportunity to make a difference, and I tried to make the most of it!”

As a volunteer, Mrs. Codey has contributed to a wide variety of causes. She is currently a member of the New Jersey Education Association and the President’s Advisory Council of Postpartum Support International. A former member of the board of directors of the Mental Health Association of Essex County, she also pioneered a PPD support group that began at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in 1994 and continues to help women and their families today.

About Seton Hall University College of Nursing
Seton Hall University College of Nursing offered the first baccalaureate nursing program in New Jersey in 1937 and is CCNE-accredited through June of 2019. The graduate program was established in 1975 and the Ph.D. program opened in 2006. US News and World Report ranks Seton Hall University College of Nursing as one of the top graduate nursing programs in the country. The College of Nursing’s mission is to educate baccalaureate-prepared generalists and advanced practitioners of nursing who aspire to be innovators and leaders in the nursing profession.

Seton Hall University is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the New Jersey State Nurses Association, an accreditor approved by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Association on Accreditation. P# 196-9/13-16

For more information please contact:
College of Nursing


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