JULY NEWSLETTER
MMHLA RECEIVES TRANSFORMATIONAL GRANT
MMHLA has been selected by the Perigee Fund for a Policy and Advocacy Capacity Building Grant. This transformational multi-year commitment will bring together MMHLA and sister organizations 2020Mom and Postpartum Support International to work together to increase individual and collective policy advocacy.

The goal of this effort is to improve perinatal and maternal mental health through policy change. Now, more than ever, new and expectant mothers need support as they face issues impacting their health and wellness, including rising maternal mortality rates, the COVID-19 pandemic, and racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare.

MMHLA is incredibly grateful to Perigee Fund for this amazingly generous investment in maternal mental health.
PERIGEE FUND -- based in Seattle WA -- understands that infancy is a critical developmental period in which the foundations of emotional and physical health are established. Recognizing that caregiver-child interactions in the first years of life are integral to healthy development, Perigee is investing in maternal mental health to effect change at the systems level.
INTRODUCING MMHLA FACT SHEETS
MMHLA is pleased to share a series of Fact Sheets which are based upon earlier emails and newsletters. Fact Sheets are available to download, print, and share.
FACT SHEETS ARE AVAILABLE AT MMHLA.ORG/FACTSHEETS
MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH FACT SHEET includes facts and figures, signs and symptoms, risk factors, steps to wellness, and consequences of untreated MMH conditions. This Fact Sheet was prepared with input from an editorial team representing obstetrics, pediatrics, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, and public health.
ADDITIONAL FACT SHEETS COMING SOON!
FATHERS AND POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

FDA PREGNANCY AND LACTATION LABELING

MEDICAID AND MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH

NATIONAL CURRICULUM IN REPRODUCTIVE PSYCHIATRY

PATH TO WELLNESS

REPRODUCTIVE PSYCHIATRY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS

SCREENING RECOMMENDATIONS
ANNOUNCEMENTS and ACTION ITEMS
INNOVATION TO IMPROVE RURAL POSTPARTUM MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGE
AHRQ is seeking both success stories that highlight community achievements and program proposals that demonstrate innovative planning for community action to improve postpartum mental health. Learn more HERE.

  • Submissions are due September 15, 2020. 
  • Final Q&A webinar is August 5; previous webinars have been recorded. 
  • Cash prizes total $175,000.  
AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION AWARDS
The APA is calling for nominations for a wide array of awards for both individuals and programs. Deadlines are in parentheses. Learn more HERE.
  • Psychiatric Services Achievement Award (Jul 31) recognizes innovative programs that deliver services to people with mental illness and can serve as models for other programs.
  • Award for Research in Psychiatry (Aug 15) recognizes a single distinguished contribution, a body of work, or a lifetime contribution that has had a significant impact on the field and/or altered the practice of psychiatry.
  • Alexandra Symonds Award (Aug 1) honors a female psychiatrist who has made significant contributions to promoting women’s health and the advancement of women.
  • Kun Po Se Award (Aug 1) honors an individual who has made significant contributions toward understanding the impact and importance of Asian cultural heritage in areas relevant to psychiatry.
  • Judd Marmor Award (Aug 15) honors an individual who has contributed to research advancing the biopsychosocial aspects of psychiatry.
  • Simon Bolivar Award (Aug 1) honors a prominent advocate for Hispanic mental health.
  • Solomon Carter Fuller Award (Aug 1) honors a Black citizen who has pioneered in an area that has significantly advanced the quality of life of Black people. 
T HIS IS MY BRAVE SEEKS SUBMISSIONS
This Is My Brave (TIMB) brings stories about mental illness out of the spotlight and onto the stage. TIMB is seeking submissions for a new program, This Is My Brave: Stories From the Black Community. According to TIMB, "Talking openly about mental illness and seeking treatment has been taboo in the Black community for far too long, frequently leading to people not seeking help when they truly need it, and isolating those who need support." Deadline for submissions is August 15. Learn more HERE.
ENCOURAGE MEDICAID TO INCLUDE
SCREENING FOR PERINATAL DEPRESSION
Each year, Medicaid adopts a Core Set of performance measures to assess the quality of care provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. A proposed addition to the 2021 Core Set is the POSTPARTUM Depression Screening and Follow-Up Measure which will assess the percentage of women screened for postpartum depression and provided follow-up care (see details below). Read the FULL REPORT on proposed changes (Postpartum Depression Screening is on pp. 16-17).

This is a huge step forward! Adding this performance measure means Medicaid insurers will be held accountable for screening for postpartum depression.

However, there is no recommendation about adding the PRENATAL Depression Screening and Follow-Up Measure. It's equally important to screen women for mental health issues during pregnancy as postpartum:
  • Women who are depressed during pregnancy are less likely to obtain adequate prenatal care and more likely to use substances such as alcohol or drugs.
  • Children born to mothers with untreated depression are at increased risk for low birth weight, small head size, preterm birth, and longer stays in the NICU.
  • Of women who experience postpartum depression, roughly 1/3 enter pregnancy with underlying depression, 1/3 develop depression during pregnancy, and 1/3 develop symptoms in the postpartum period.
  • Women who live in poverty are MORE likely to experience depression but LESS likely to be screened or adequately get help.
  • Less than 40% of new mothers attend a postpartum obstetric visit; if screening is confined to the postpartum period, these women will never be screened.
Encourage Medicaid to screen women
for depression during pregnancy
and the postpartum period .
  • Send an EMAIL with "2021 Core Set Review Public Comment" in the subject line.
  • Support adding the POSTPARTUM Depression Screening & Follow Up Measure to the 2021 Adult Core Set.
  • Encourage adding the PRENATAL Depression Screening & Follow Up Measure to the 2021 Adult Core Set.
  • Deadline for comments is August 10, 2020.
PRENATAL Depression Screening and Follow-Up measure assesses the percentage of deliveries in which women were screened for clinical depression during pregnancy and, if screened positive, received follow-up care.

Two rates are reported for this measure:
(1) the percentage of deliveries in which women were screened for clinical depression using a standardized tool during pregnancy.
(2) the percentage of deliveries in which pregnant women received follow-up care within 30 days of screening positive for depression.
POSTPARTUM Depression Screening and Follow-Up measure assesses the percentage of deliveries in which women were screened for clinical depression during the postpartum period and, if screened positive, received follow-up care.

Two rates are reported for this measure:
(1) the percentage of deliveries in which women were screened for clinical depression using a standardized tool within 84 days post-delivery.
(2) the percentage of deliveries in which postpartum women received follow-up care within 30 days of screening positive for depression.
"Being a mother is discovering strengths you didn't know you had
and dealing with fears you never knew existed." Sherene Simon
Working with Policy Makers to Address Maternal Mental Health Conditions
Our vision is that all childbearing women in the United States will be educated about and screened for maternal mental health conditions and have access to resources for recovery.