Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Maternal Mental Health

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Abstract

One out of every five to seven births is affected by postpartum depression, making it the most common maternal health problem in the first year after childbirth. Early identification and treatment are essential, though screening and treatment rates are low. Factors that inhibit effective screening and treatment include lack of uniform screening policies in all maternal health settings, poor coordination of care between primary care and mental health services, inadequate coordination of community education efforts and resources, social stigma surrounding mental health treatment, and ineffective application of research and technology in the clinical setting. An interdisciplinary model that includes primary care providers, mental health professionals, community resources, policy makers, researchers, and technological innovators addresses these gaps in care and enhances screening and treatment efforts that improve overall maternal and child health. We present a promising interdisciplinary cross-organizational approach coalescing diverse perspectives from those working across policy, research, training, primary care, and mental health in various disciplines to practice collaboratively to improve perinatal mental healthcare.

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