HomeLatest NewsFederal NewsHHS announces national strategy to improve maternal mental health care

HHS announces national strategy to improve maternal mental health care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of a national strategy today, with recommendations developed by the Task Force on Maternal Mental Health, a subcommittee of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Advisory Committee for Women’s Services, to address the urgent public health crisis of maternal mental health and substance use issues. The Report to Congress and accompanying National Strategy to Improve Maternal Mental Health Care are part of broader federal efforts to address women’s overall health, and maternal health in particular, across the nation, consistent with the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis and the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research.

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries. Deaths from suicide, drug overdoses, and other causes related to mental health and substance use issues are the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S., accounting for more than 22% of those deaths. An estimated one in five individuals are impacted by mental health conditions – including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma-related disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and postpartum psychosis – and substance use disorders (SUD) during pregnancy and the postpartum period and disproportionately affect Black and American Indian/Alaska Native individuals and others in under-resourced communities.

“Addressing the maternal mental health crisis is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. Many of these tragic deaths can be prevented by eliminating health disparities and understanding the impact of mental health during pregnancy and in the first months as a parent,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We want to address the challenges people are facing, decrease stigma associated with these challenges, and improve access to support both inside and outside of the health care system. I want to thank the task force for developing recommendations on how we can work to expand access to equitable treatment that will improve outcomes and help families thrive.”

The national strategy is a living document that will be regularly updated by the task force. The federal government will consider the strategy as it continues addressing the maternal mental health crisis.

Full article can be viewed by clicking here.

The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline provides free, confidential, 24/7 mental health support for moms and their families before, during, and after pregnancy. Counselors are available in English and Spanish, and interpreters are available to support callers in 60 other languages. Call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262).

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

To learn how to get support for mental health, drug, and alcohol issues, visit FindSupport.gov. Anyone seeking treatment for mental health or substance use issues should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or visit findtreatment.samhsa.gov.

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