Grant Recipients Announced for Maternal, Mental Health Initiative

The Improving Maternal Mental Health Initiative, funded by the St. Louis Mental Health Board and facilitated by the MCFHC will help hundreds of pregnant women and new mothers receive help for depression. Four grants awarded to Casa de Salud, Family Care Health Centers, Saint Louis University and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and Washington University Perinatal Behavioral Health Service will be funded through this initiative. As a result of these grants, approximately 3,000 pregnant/postpartum women will be screened for depression in the first year of the project and 700 will receive referrals and treatment.  In addition to these grants, each year a cohort of 20-25 providers will participate in a 9-month comprehensive skill building course in Motivational Interviewing.

The Improving Maternal Mental Health Initiative is a direct result of the MCFHC’s Mapping a Course to a Healthier Community for Women, Children and Families agenda setting program. Mapping a Course brought together 200 parents and professionals to identify, prioritize and create solutions to make our community healthier.

Hundreds of pregnant women and new mothers will receive help for depression through new grant program

Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition and St. Louis Mental Health Board Announce Grant Recipients of Maternal Mental Health Initiative

ST. LOUIS (October 29, 2012) – The Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition (MCHFC) and St. Louis Mental Health Board announced today the recipients of new grants, including: Casa de Salud, Family Care Health Centers, Saint Louis University and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and Washington University Perinatal Behavioral Health Service.

These grants are part of the Improving Maternal Mental Health Initiative, funded by the St. Louis Mental Health Board and facilitated by the MCFHC. The initiative invests in the care of women who are at risk for depression before, during and following pregnancy.

According to national estimates, as many as 2,000 to 3,000 pregnant women and new mothers each year in St. Louis City experience depression and are in need of support. As a result of these grants, approximately 3,000 pregnant/postpartum women will be screened for depression in the first year of the project. It is anticipated that more than 700 women will receive referral/treatment in the project’s first year.

In addition to these grants, the initiative also includes training and resources to ensure those who are at risk for depression and mental illness will be identified and receive care.

“Many women will never receive appropriate supportive services due to stigma and limited resources, particularly for women at mild to moderate risk of depression,” said Kendra Copanas, executive director, MCFHC. “Particularly for low-income families, maternal depression is a known barrier to ensuring that young children experience healthy relationships.”

The 2012-2013 Maternal Mental Health grant recipients are:

  • Casa de Salud– will serve Latina mothers who are pregnant or within two years of the birth of their last child. The project includes: culturally relevant screening and assessment; intake and planning sessions; interventions and supportive services.
  • Family Care Health Centers-will universally screen all pregnant women for depression, engage the consumer in readiness for change, treat pregnant/postpartum women diagnosed with mild to moderate depression, link consumers to their community via a peer support group and refer to partner agencies when needed.
  • Saint Louis University and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center-will expand the current screenings for postpartum women in order to better identify, evaluate and provide treatment or referral for those mothers with postpartum depression. Mothers will receive individualized on-site counseling and support services within the same environment that their children receive regular medical care.
  • Washington University Perinatal Behavioral Health Service– will create a program to screen all St. Louis City women giving birth at Barnes-Jewish Hospital for mood disorders and will expand an existing program to provide screening for mood disorders to St. Louis City mothers of infants in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Mothers in the NICU will also receive individualized on site counseling. Project staff will coordinate referrals for mental health, substance abuse treatment and supportive services provided by the BJC hospital system and community partners.

The Improving Maternal Mental Health Initiative was a result of the MCFHC’s Mapping a Course to a Healthier Community for Women, Children and Families initiative. Mapping a Course brought together parents and providers to identify, prioritize and create solutions to make our community healthier. Participants in the Mapping a Course process identified the following issues as priorities for the region to address: high levels of depression and stress among pregnant women and new mothers, a lack of appropriate mental health services, and the under diagnosis of mental illness and stigmatization of mental illness in pregnant and postpartum women.

About Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition

The MCFHC is a leading convener of stakeholders that take action around priority health issues for women and children. The mission of the MCFHC is to improve birth outcomes, promote healthy families and build healthy communities by uniting and mobilizing the St. Louis Region. As a result of the MCFHC, the St. Louis Region has received more than $7 million in federal funds to expand home-based serves that improve the health of pregnant women and new families in vulnerable communities. For more information about the MCFHC, call 314-289-5680.

About St. Louis Mental Health Board

The St. Louis Mental Health Board (MHB) administers public funds on behalf of the residents of the City of St. Louis for behavioral health and children’s services. This is done by making grants to non-profit organizations or other forms of investment in the community that provide resources to programs focused on making positive changes in the lives of the City residents served.

MHB was established in 1994 as a special taxing authority in the City of St. Louis. MHB is neither a city nor a state agency, but is a separate government entity charged with distributing City tax dollars for specific purposes approved by the voters.

Between its establishment in 1994 and 2011, MHB awarded 100 million dollars to area not-for-profits for services that benefited vulnerable St. Louis children and adults.

 

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