Project Description

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Maternal Mental Health NOW


Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the leading complication of childbirth, affecting up to 900,000 women across the United States each year. When perinatal mood and anxiety disorders go untreated, the impact on the mother, child and family can be profound. The mission of Maternal Mental Health NOW is to remove the barriers to the prevention, screening and treatment of prenatal and postpartum depression in Los Angeles County. A major barrier to addressing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders is the disjointed behavioral health and mental health care systems that provide care to women and their offspring.

According to the 2002 IMPACT study, collaborative care doubles the effectiveness of depression treatment for older adults in primary care settings. While this model has proven to be successful with health outcomes amongst various patient groups including veterans and older adults, few examples exist of the model being systematically applied to and studied in the perinatal population.

In 2013, Maternal Mental Health NOW launched a pilot project that integrated perinatal mental health care into a primary care setting at USC-Eisner Family Medicine Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC). Maternal Mental Health NOW current innovation is to expand upon this pilot project by rigorously studying the project at USC-Eisner FMC, implementing an integrated perinatal mental health care model at two additional FQHCs and publishing a best practice resource guide on how to integrate perinatal mental health care into other medical settings.

To learn more visit the Maternal Mental Health Integration Initiative website