Skip Navigation Links
May/June 2019Expand May/June 2019
March/April 2019Expand March/April 2019
January/February 2019Expand January/February 2019
November/December 2018Expand November/December 2018
September/October 2018Expand September/October 2018
July/August 2018Expand July/August 2018
May/June 2018Expand May/June 2018
March/April 2018Expand March/April 2018
January/February 2018Expand January/February 2018
July/August 2017Expand July/August 2017
May/June 2017Expand May/June 2017
March/April 2017Expand March/April 2017
January/February 2017Expand January/February 2017
November/December 2016Expand November/December 2016
July/August 2016Expand July/August 2016
May/June 2016Expand May/June 2016
March/April 2016Expand March/April 2016
January/February 2016Expand January/February 2016
November/December 2015Expand November/December 2015
July/August 2015Expand July/August 2015
May/June 2015Expand May/June 2015
March/April 2015Expand March/April 2015
January/February 2015Expand January/February 2015
ArchiveExpand Archive
November/December 2017Expand November/December 2017
PulseTemplate
September/October 2015Expand September/October 2015
September/October 2016Expand September/October 2016
September/October 2017Expand September/October 2017
Special Edition - EPRExpand Special Edition - EPR
Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance MeetingExpand Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance Meeting
Title V Technical Assistance Meeting

 For Mental Health, Look Beyond Mental Health

title v 2.png

Session: General Session, Oct. 18
Presentation Title: Promoting Perinatal Mental Health: The Massachusetts Experience
Presenter: Karin Downs, MCH Director, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Slides

Karin Downs kicked off the plenary session with a case study of MCPAP for Moms, a program from her state. The program provides real-time, perinatal psychiatric consultation and referral for providers to prevent, identify, and manage the mental health and substance use concerns of their pregnant and postpartum patients. It is an expansion of the existing Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) and works through three core components: trainings and toolkits, real-time psychiatric consultation and care coordination, and linkages with community-based resources like support groups and mental health care.

"We provide links to community supports to bring women, partners, and extended family to community sources that may or may not be related to mental health," Downs said. "For example, going to libraries for reading hour minimizes social isolation."

More than 60 percent of medical practices in Massachusetts are enrolled in MCPAP for Moms. Downs said that reflects the idea that, "if you build it, they will come." That is, by creating a program to address a need for postpartum patients, the program found its niche.

Funded through a state-line item for to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, preventative care through MCPAP for Moms costs $11.81 a year per woman giving birth in the state. Research estimates that the cost to the health care and social service systems for not treating mood disorders is $22,000 per woman. Since one in seven women experience mood disorders but 85 percent of them do not receive treatment, effectively screening, identifying, and providing treatment for women experiencing mood disorders yield significant cost savings to society.

"No mom should be alone while dealing with postpartum depression," Downs said.