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The Problem

Perinatal mental health or substance use disorders affect one in five mothers and are one of the most common pregnancy complications. Despite routine contact with medical settings, most pregnant and postpartum women with mental health or substance use disorders go unrecognized, undiagnosed, and untreated. Lack of treatment can lead to devastating effects on women, infants, and families. Maternal suicide exceeds hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders as a cause of maternal mortality. Obstetric, pediatric, primary care, and psychiatry providers are challenged by multi-level barriers to providing needed mental health care for these women. Addressing these barriers systemically requires a practical and sustainable platform that builds the capacity of health care systems, states, and countries, to address depression and other psychiatric illness in the perinatal period.

The Problem

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Why Perinatal Mental Health

1 in 5

women will experience a mental health or substance use disorder in pregnancy or postpartum


of postpartum deaths in depressed women are caused by maternal suicide


of women who screen positive for depression receive no treatment