While the Schuyler Center has long recognized maternal mental health as an important component of women’s health, developing comprehensive policies across multiple agencies and sectors requires continuous effort. As many as one in seven women experience some form of depression during pregnancy or within 12 months after giving birth. In 2018, New York was invited to join a national learning collaborative: Moving on Maternal Depression (MOMD), convened by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). This project advances structural changes to health systems to prioritize policies proven to strengthen maternal mental health, particularly interventions that prevent, and if that is not possible, detect and treat, maternal mental health disorders. By improving maternal mental health, the project also aims to improve and strengthen early childhood development and family economic security. The New York State Office of Mental Health leads the project, with the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy serving as project coordinator, and CLASP providing technical assistance. The MOMD project reflects the Schuyler Center’s commitment to developing data-driven, evidence-based policies to prevent maternal disorders whenever possible, and to prevent, identify, and treat maternal mental disorders throughout the state and across all of New York’s diverse communities. The project – with its diverse group of passionate and engaged stakeholders – presents a real opportunity to improve the mental health of expecting and new mothers to better enable New York mothers, babies and families to thrive.

Sources: Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children: Opportunities to Improve Identification, Treatment, and Prevention. National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Depression, Parenting Practices, and the Healthy Development of Children; Editors: Mary Jane England and Leslie J. Sim.

Visit The Moving on Maternal Depression (MOMD) Project in New York: An Opportunity to Improve Policies and Programs that Support Maternal Mental Health for more information on the Schuyler Center’s effort to improve maternal mental health.