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  • 1 in 5 women will experience a mental health or substance use disorder in pregnancy or postpartum.
  • Despite routine contact with medical providers, most pregnant and postpartum women with depression go unrecognized, undiagnosed, and untreated.
  • Lack of treatment can lead to devastating effects on women, infants, and families.
  • Care providers are challenged by multi-level barriers to providing needed mental health care for these women.
  • Addressing these barriers requires a practical and sustainable platform that builds the capacity of clinicians to address depression and other mental health concerns in the perinatal period.
  • To meet the needs of women, providers, and the broader health care community, UMass Chan Medical School has created Lifeline for Moms, a consultation service that works collaboratively to develop programming capacity and meet the needs of women, providers, and the broader health care community.

We promote perinatal mental health by helping develop, implement, innovate, evaluate, and sustain approaches for addressing perinatal mental health and substance use disorders. Perinatal describes the pregnancy and the postpartum period (up to 1 year after delivery).

Perinatal Mental Health Care Support and Consulting

Perinatal mental health conditions are a leading and preventable cause of maternal mortality.
Yet, they remain underrecognized, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. This leads to negative,
long-lasting impacts on pregnant and postpartum individuals, their children, and families. 


Our perinatal psychiatry trainings, services, and resources aim to increase access to and engagement in mental health care.

Learn about our three core services:

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Capacity building

We promote perinatal health care by building health care professionals’ capacity to provide perinatal mental health support, services, and interventions. Our evidence-based, customizable products and resources are free and help clinicians prevent, identify, and treat perinatal mental health conditions. Learn more about how we build capacity to address perinatal mental health. 

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Consultation

We offer consulting services to support perinatal care professionals as they develop their own Perinatal Psychiatry Access Program or integrate care for perinatal mental health and substance use disorders into their practice workflow. Read more about our integrated perinatal mental health care consulting services.

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Research

We develop and test interventions and resources designed to improve existing care models and close remaining gaps in care. Many of these perinatal mental health trainings, toolkits, and digital apps have been disseminated and implemented across the U.S. and world. Get involved with our perinatal mental health research.

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What We Do: Promote Perinatal Mental Health

  We work with:   

 

Health systems

Medical practices

State and federal agencies
and other organizations

Perinatal care
professionals

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Perinatal Psychiatry Programming:
How We Help

Our award-winning program, MCPAP for Moms, has paved the way for perinatal care professionals, policymakers, advocates, and communities to transform how expectant and new parents receive mental health care. When you partner with us, you benefit from: 

 

Expertise: Our leadership team includes clinicians who have committed their careers to helping integrate mental health care into perinatal care settings. A first-of-its-kind, national model for perinatal mental health care (MCPAP for Moms) emerged from this singular focus. And our experts continue to leverage their research, evidence-based interventions, and real-world experience to guide others who want to increase care access in their own communities. 

 

Commitment to iterative learning: We test and evaluate our perinatal mental health trainings, interventions, and other products in partnership with perinatal and pediatric care professionals in academic, medical, and community-based settings. We apply what we learn and stay nimble in addressing perinatal individuals’ evolving needs. This real-world experience and growth mindset enables us to help you overcome barriers and challenges unique to your environment. 

 

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): We are committed to working against racism and health inequities and holding ourselves and others accountable. Through DEI mental health research projects, the integration of DEI content into our resources and tools, and more, we’re taking a proactive and purposeful approach to addressing inequities in mental health care. Read more about our commitment to equity in mental health. 

 

Multidisciplinary team: Our team includes academic and clinical experts in perinatal mental health, obstetrics, program development, implementation science, health policy, adult education and instructional design, and research and evaluation.

 

Health care savings: Untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are estimated to cost $32,000 annually for every untreated mother-child dyad. MCPAP for Moms costs $13 per perinatal individual per year. Providing the appropriate screening, care, and treatment for perinatal mental health can potentially save millions of dollars annually while positively impacting the lives of parents, infants, children, and families. 

 

Better outcomes: MCPAP for Moms’ success shows that it’s possible to increase access to perinatal mental health care for an entire state. That’s one reason why this sustainable program model has inspired federal legislation and the creation of more than 20 similar Perinatal Psychiatry Access Programs across the U.S. Collectively, our National Network of Perinatal Psychiatry Access Programs covers more than 2.2 million of 3.6 million births across the countryLearn more in our webinar: Improving Maternal Mental Health by Building the Capacity of Frontline Medical Providers

 

Evidence-based products: We rigorously develop, assess, and refine all our products, including perinatal mental health toolkits, eModules, and implementation guides. This process allows us to innovate practical resources that professionals can use and rely on when addressing perinatal mental health and substance use disorders. 

Cultivating Healthy Parents Is Critical to Raising Healthy Children.

Lifeline for Families is building bridges between maternal and child mental health through Lifeline for Moms and Lifeline for Kids. Lifeline for Kids addresses child mental health with a highly innovative centralized referral system, trainings in trauma-informed and trauma responsive care, and more.

By improving the standard of care for youth in our communities who experience trauma, we increase the resiliency of children, their families, and future generations.

Learn more about Lifeline for Kids