The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Task Force on Maternal Mental Health recently unveiled the landmark National Strategy to Improve Maternal Mental Health Care, aiming to systemically address the pressing needs of birthing people with mental health conditions. The strategy features the task force’s recommendations for a whole-government approach to build the necessary infrastructure to improve care for maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

Highlights of the National Strategy to Improve Maternal Mental Health Care include:

  • A focus on whole-person and dyadic perinatal mental health care
  • Six months of paid leave
  • Integration of maternal mental health services into primary care
  • Alignment of federal policies with those that are effective at the state level
  • Provisions for reimbursement to a diverse mental health workforce, including community health workers and doulas

We are deeply grateful to our grantees who serve on the task force: American Academy of Pediatrics, Lifeline for Moms, Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance, Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health (formerly 2020 Mom), Postpartum Support International, and Shades of Blue Project. The framework aligns closely with Perigee’s strategic objectives.

Members of the Perigee Fund team attended the release of the strategy in Washington, D.C. We were moved by the stories shared by task force members of their first-hand experience with maternal mental health challenges. Nicole Barnett, Perinatal Mental Health Educator and Advocate, commended the task force for centering the perspectives of people with lived experience. “Unless you’ve experienced it, I think it’s very hard to imagine how challenging it is for your very own brain to be working against you during a time when you are most vulnerable.”