THE 2018 MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH

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2020 Mom and Marce of North America, in partnership with Postpartum Support International and with the generous support of Denver’s Zoma Foundation, announce the 2018 Maternal Mental Health Innovation Awards.

These competitive awards are presented annually to impactful programs that deserve recognition for leadership in supporting maternal mental health (MMH). It is time we share what works in addressing maternal mental health disorders, which impact up to one-in-five women during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

The award program seeks exemplary programs with at least 6 months of outcome data that should be lifted up as proven models for broader adoption across the country.  

The program has two main goals: 

  • To recognize those who are supporting maternal mental health through innovative initiatives that have produced measurable outcomes.
  • To facilitate sharing innovative models in order to scale and promote change in a rapid and effective manner.

The program gives awards in three categories. The first place winner in each category will receive a prize of $3000, and the honorable mention winner in each category will receive a $1000 prize.  Funds should be reinvested in new MMH initiatives or MMH program expansion. One representative from each of the 2018 winners will receive complimentary registration, hotel accommodations for two nights and travel costs to the Postpartum Support International conference July 13-15, 2018 in Houston where the winners will present their programs and be interviewed through a panel style discussion.

Three categories of Innovation Awards in Maternal Mental Health:

While the 2018 program encouraged particular sectors to apply, the awards were open to any applicant that met the category and award program criteria.

1. Innovative Programs in Care Care models (both clinical and non-clinical) with strong outcomes for addressing maternal mental health and lend themselves to broader adoption. 

In 2018: We encouraged clinical offices or institutions to apply.  For example, an Ob/Gyn or hospital that has developed training and tools for their staff to detect and effectively treat, refer and track outcomes for your patients.  Or a health insurer that has developed a case management program, for example, to support providers in detection and treatment.

2. Innovative Community Solutions – Leadership, communication, and broad community engagement that brings focus to maternal mental health.

In 2018: We encouraged hospitals or departments of public or mental health who have run community coalitions or campaigns, and employers who addressed maternal mental health in a novel way to apply.  

3. Innovation in Policy and Advocacy – National, state or local legislative or regulatory advocacy efforts with impactful results stemming from passage and/or implementation. 

In 2018: We accepted applications from organizations and individuals.

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2018 Award Winners:

Innovative Programs in Care Winner:

Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center: Emotional Care Home Visiting Program
The Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center is a non-profit organization serving Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in California. Their Emotional Care Program provides psychotherapy and non-clinical home visiting support for mothers. The program’s objectives are to help mothers:

  1. prevent, identify early and treat postpartum depression/anxiety/stress and
  2. support adjustment and needs, to support mother-infant bonding, to
  3. promote healthy parenting skills
  4. and to reduce maternal isolation.

In addition, the program utilizes interns, thereby serving as a clinical psychotherapy training site (for interns). The program aims to educate, train, and prepare current and future mental health professionals in “best-practices” for identifying and treating maternal mental health issues in the wider community.

Honorable Mention:

Park Nicolett Hospital Health System’s Women’s Mental Health Reproductive Program
In 2010, Park Nicolett health systemin Twin Cities, MN convened a process improvement team to create a universal maternal mental health screening program. The departments involved in this 9000+ employee health system included stakeholders from Behavioral Health, Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn-Midwifery, and Family Medicine. The Women’s Mental Health Reproductive Program has been funded through the system’s foundation, and rolled out in 2011 and serves women struggling with fertility, birth loss and women during the pregnancy and postpartum periods. The program is housed in the Behavioral Health Department and includes two psychiatrists, 8 therapists and three additional therapists embedded in their large Ob/Gyn clinic and one therapist who spends time in two family practice clinics. Perhaps most innovative part of their program is the addition of two care coordinator roles filled by LCSW interns. Through the program, primary care offices screen women at least once during pregnancy and five times during the postpartum period. Positive EDPS screens are sent to the care coordinators for further assessment and women are provided with community and internal resources including treatment referral if desired.

Innovative Community Solutions Winner:

Postpartum Support Virginia: Williamsburg Maternal Mental Health Coalition a Coalition (Community Solutions)
Postpartum Support Virginia(PSVa), a statewide non-profit organization, with initial funding from a local community foundation, the Rotary Club and the Junior League, and in partnership with the local hospital, hosted and facilitated this multi-provider and community coalition in Williamsburg VA. The coalition ran from January-December 2017.

The goals were to:

  1. Educate coalition members,
  2. Create a patient education campaign,
  3. Build a comprehensive screening and treatment program including creating care linkages,
  4. Train additional mental health professionals,
  5. Expand existing support groups.

Education is provided to all women of childbearing age. PSVa developed a clinical training curriculum for Ob/Gyns, hospital discharge staff and pediatricians so screening and treatment occur. As of May 2018, 24 women received support for maternal mental health disorders through the program.

Honorable Mention:

Docs for Tots: Well Moms, Well Tots Maternal Depression Program
Docs for Totsis a New York based non-profit organization, which brings together children’s doctors and communities to promote best practices, policies and investments that foster children’s healthy development and future success.

Docs for Tots developed the maternal depression screening and treatment program “Well Moms, Well Tots”in Nassau County NY within three (with the goal of reaching all five) federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).  FQHCs are clinics that serve vulnerable families. The program was created with the help of three foundations to launch the program over a two year period. The program included development of a toolkit including educational maternals, workflows, a referral pathway and resource directory, and reminder posters for clinicians to post throughout the clinics. A coach provides at least two initial trainings for all staff at each site, followed by one-on-one training with each individual. After training, the project is rolled out and the coach conducts weekly site visits for 4 months, weaning support to bi-weekly visits. Medical record reviews and feedback cycles drive improvement. Results indicate screening is now occurring at rates of over 80%.

Innovation in Policy and Advocacy Winner:

Dr. Susan Feingold Psy.D & Barry Lewis, Esq., Postpartum Psychosis as a Mitigating Factor Law (Policy & Advocacy) -
This team’s worked on creating and advocating for legislation that became the Illinois Public Act 100-0574. This groundbreaking legislation is the first criminal law in the United States recognizing the effects of postpartum depression/psychosis for a mitigated punishment for women convicted of infanticide whose crime was committed while mentally ill, under the influence of her postpartum illness.

Honorable Mention:

Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition: Florida Families First Act
After conducting a community mental health needs assessment in Alachua County Florida, the Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition(ACPMHC) used report findings to drive several initiatives to address maternal mental health. The findings were sent to several state legislators which prompted a state senator to outreach ACPMHC’s Executive Director to draft Florida’s first piece of legislation addressing postpartum depression and related illnesses: The 2018 Florida Families First Act(SB 138/HR937) which was passed in the spring of 2018. The Act requires that by January 1, 2019 the Department of Health provide information about maternal mental health through its toll-free family health line and that birth hospitals to screen for maternal depression. Over $100,000 dollars were appropriated to administer telephone services and oversee hospitals in 2019.