SEPTEMBER IS
SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH
FACTS ABOUT MATERNAL SUICIDE
KEY FACTS

Mental health conditions are the
MOST COMMON COMPLICATIONS
of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting 1 in 5 women and childbearing people (800,000 new parents each year in the United States).

Suicide and overdose combined are the LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH
for women in the first year postpartum.

The peak incidence of maternal suicide
is 6-9 months postpartum.

New mothers who die by suicide:
  • Are mostly White and older
  • Use the most violent forms of suicide (hanging, jumping, shooting)
  • Die in the late postpartum period
  • Do not attend a postpartum obstetric visit (< 50%)
33%
of pregnancy-related suicide deaths
had a documented
prior suicide attempt
TOP RISK FACTORS
FOR
MATERNAL SUICIDE

Personal or family history of mental health disorders

Interpersonal violence

Substance use disorder
Citations are all included in the Maternal Mental Health and Suicide Fact Sheet.
This information underscores the need to implement
universal screening for mental health conditions
throughout pregnancy and the entire year postpartum.
NEW FACT SHEET
MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE
MMHLA's newest FACT SHEET includes key facts
about maternal suicide, with information from
Maternal Mortality Review Committees
pointing to suicide and overdose combined
as the leading cause of death for new mothers.
See all MMHLA Fact Sheets HERE.
Support for MMHLA's Fact Sheets is provided by the California Health Care Foundation.
2020Mom hosts their Annual
to honor mothers lost to maternal suicide and to raise awareness about maternal suicide. Events include a social media awareness campaign and candlelight remembrance vigil.
SUICIDE PREVENTION GRANTS
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention welcomes innovative research studies focused
on understanding and preventing suicide.
Biological, psychological, social, community
and other approaches are of interest, and multidisciplinary research is encouraged.
Learn more HERE.
SUICIDAL THINKING VS. OCD
Some new mothers have scary and unwanted intrusive thoughts about losing control and harming themselves. This ARTICLE from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America explains the difference between suicidal thinking and intrusive OCD thoughts.
FOCUS ON BLACK MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH
Black expectant mothers and birthing people have the right to superior care at every step of their pregnancy and birth journey. Yet, across the US, racial disparities mean many Black mothers and birthing individuals are not receiving the care they deserve.
Renee Smith Richardson is the State Policy Manager with Black Mamas Matter Alliance, where she works with decision makers, advocates, and partners to develop strategies to advance and improve Black maternal health on state and national levels. Read her recent article What States Can Do To Improve Black Maternal Mental Health shared by the Century Foundation.
BabyDove has created the
to give grants to Black mothers and birthing people so they can have doula care during and following pregnancy.

LEARN MORE HERE,

READ ABOUT THIS INITIATIVE
IN ESSENCE MAGAZINE.

OBSTETRIC RACISM:
Black Women and Medical Encounters

September 9, 2021
7 pm ET

LEARN MORE HERE
RESEARCH UPDATES
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION STUDY

NIMH is seeking healthy mothers
ages 18-50 to participate in an outpatient research study examining
the role of reproductive hormones in postpartum depression. This 7-month study at the NIH Clinical Center in suburban Washington DC includes
30-45 minute appointments every two weeks with psychological testing, clinical interviews, mood self-ratings, blood draws, and routine lab work.

Learn more HERE.
NIH SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENTS

NIH is inviting comments from the extramural scientific community, professional societies, and the general public to assist in identifying women's health research gaps and pitfalls in clinical practices. Comments should focus on research gaps and clinical practices related to rising maternal morbidity and mortality rates and
the increasing rates of chronic debilitating conditions in women.

Learn more HERE. Due 9/15/2021.
PREVENTION OF PERINATAL DEPRESSION:
Improving Intervention Delivery for At-Risk Individuals

NIH recently announced two funding opportunities for applications
to refine and examine preliminary effectiveness of perinatal depression preventive interventions in settings where women receive perinatal care.

Hybrid effectiveness-intervention trials are needed to better understand
how these and other research-supported interventions may be implemented
at scale in diverse health care and community settings by local providers
who are trained to deliver interventions with fidelity.

The research scope of the funding opportunities includes:
  • Refining and pilot testing strategies for identifying women at risk for perinatal depression
  • Developing and testing tools for selecting those most likely to benefit from preventive interventions
  • Refining and testing service-ready, efficacious preventive interventions that are of appropriate intensity/dose and are scalable, such that they can be delivered with fidelity by setting providers
  • Optimizing and testing strategies that can be used to train providers and to support delivery of evidence-based approaches with fidelity across diverse health care and community settings

Learn about funding opportunities RFA-MH-21-240 or RFA-MH-21-241.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH
The Congressional budgeting process continues to move forward: in July, the House of Representatives passed their FY22 spending bill that includes funding for two maternal mental health programs:
  • $5 million for a dedicated maternal mental health hotline to provide specialized 24/7 voice and text support to new mothers experiencing maternal mental health conditions
  • $10 million for grants to states to build programs addressing maternal mental health, including educating frontline providers and providing psychiatric consultation
MATERNAL HEALTH BILL TRACKER
The Association of Maternal-Child Health Professionals (AMCHP) has created
a terrific Maternal Health Bill Tracker to help advocates stay current
about federal legislation addressing maternal health. The tracker
will be updated regularly throughout this Congressional session.
LETTER TO CONGRESS FOR PERMANENT MATERNAL HEALTH AID
Over 200 organizations signed a letter to Congressional leadership encouraging permanent financial support to improve the health of Black and Indigenous women.
The letter calls for permanently extending pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage
for a full year postpartum, passing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus,
and investing in community-based programs.
NEW LEGISLATION ADDRESSES MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH
A new bill -- The TRIUMPH for New Moms Act -- was introduced in Congress in June and calls for creating a national task force of federal agencies to address maternal mental health. The task force will review and identify existing programs and best practices; close gaps, eliminate duplication, and coordinate federal resources; and create a national strategy and issue recommendations to state governors.
Thank you to 2020Mom for championing this legislation.
SHARE YOUR STORY
MMHRC is a place for moms who have lived experience with a mental illness and want to engage in research.
Maternal Mental Health Research Collaborative Is Seeking Stories From Mothers
MMHRC is inviting moms who have lived experience with MMH conditions to share their stories on MMHRC's blog. MMHRC is particularly interested in highlighting the experience of moms from diverse racial groups and backgrounds, along with women who have other physical and mental disabilities along with maternal mental health conditions. Contact Shannon Hennig for more information.
VIRTUAL ADVOCACY DAYS
September 27-28, 2021
Learn more HERE.

Join MomCongress for two virtual days advocating for some of the most pressing maternal health issues facing U.S. mothers.
CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE
October 1-3, 2021
Learn more HERE.

Learn how to engage as a patient advocate and network with other survivors of maternal health complications to propel change.
You do not have to suffer in silence or feel ashamed. Our babies need us to be healthy during a time
when we are overwhelmed the most.
Brittany Willow Mayer
Working with Policy Makers to Address Maternal Mental Health Conditions
MMHLA -- founded in 2018 -- is a nonpartisan 501(c)3 non-profit organization
advocating for national policy around maternal mental health in the United States.

Our vision is a nation that priorities mental health by providing universal and equitable education, prevention, screening, and treatment for maternal mental health conditions.