In an effort to increase awareness about maternal mental health, the Georgia state legislature recognized May 1st as Maternal Mental Health Day at the state capitol this year in March of 2019. In the bill, the issues of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders among women were addressed. Despite the fact that 1 out of 7 Georgian mothers experience depression, anxiety, compulsive thoughts, and/or psychosis associated with these disorders, only 10 percent of women with these disorders receive the treatment they need.
In addition to putting mothers at risk, not treating these disorders has the potential to negatively affect birth outcomes and infant development, such as infant mental health and brain development. The maternal depression and anxiety that can occur during pregnancy or postpartum has a high treatment efficacy through the use of assessment screenings, therapeutic interventions, community-based service supports, and medication.
In order to increase access and utilization of treatment for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, the State of Georgia has recognized the importance of increasing awareness, education, and resources for screening, assessment, referral, and treatment of maternal mental health disorders.
As a state with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, Georgia leaders are working to better ensure that women in all areas have access to the treatment they need. Camden Behavioral Wellness is proud to be part of the larger efforts that are supporting making maternal mental health a public health priority.
To learn more about the work being done in maternal mental health in Georgia, visit the website of Postpartum Support International Georgia Chapter, a maternal mental health support program.