Why prevention is the future of maternal mental health
Our reactive approach to the maternal mental health care crisis falls short
You know what they say, “You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.”
But that’s kind of what it’s been like for the model of care for mental health - including maternal mental health. We have been trying to solve the maternal mental health crisis through reactive initiatives that treat perinatal mood and anxiety disorders rather than prevent them in the first place.
Better access to treatment is critical, but that approach leaves the massive care gap in place, because we simply do not have the resources or systems in place to treat everyone - particularly our more vulnerable families.
Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression are the most common complication in pregnancy and postpartum—a prevalence of 1 in 7 in the general population but upwards of nearly 1 in 3 pregnant and postpartum adolescents, women veterans, and women of socioeconomically disadvantaged status.
They are also the highest costing maternal morbidity.
While we’re hopeful to see that new policy changes like expanded Medicaid coverage through the first year postpartum better support a new mom’s well-being, this solution does not address what the research shows to be an essential key to closing the mental health care gap—prevention.
The good news is that there are a number of impactful preventative interventions that we can implement. Learn more in our latest white paper.
Download this paper to learn:
- Why prevention of perinatal mood disorders makes more economic sense than treatment
- How to improve existing screening protocols for true universal and equitable prevention
- How to up-level hospital-based prenatal education to reduce perinatal mood disorders and unburden clinical resources
- How providers can ask to build trust and reduce mental health shame and stigma—through one simple question
- How digital interventions can support organizations that want to initiate a prevention-based perinatal mental health program
- How digital tools can be more effective and more reliable leads to an organization’s existing downstream behavioral healthcare.