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Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal Family Mental Health Initiative

Maternal mental health conditions are the MOST COMMON obstetric complication and a tragic and preventable cause of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Approximately 1 in 7 women and 1 in 10 men experience significant depression during pregnancy and the first year postpartum. These rates are nearly double for African American women and those living in poverty. According to Nebraska Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data, the prevalence of self-reported depression in the 3 months before, during, and after pregnancy have steadily increased since 2016. Effective, free, and validated screening tools exist to identify mothers and fathers at risk for perinatal depression. Treatment is available and can significantly improve outcomes for new mothers, babies and families in our state. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend universal screening of pregnant and postpartum women for depression as a component of quality obstetric care. Screening for postpartum depression in both mothers and fathers is recommended by Bright Futures and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is considered best practice in caring for infants and their families.

In 2020, the NPQIC received funding from the Pritzker Children’s Foundation and First Five Nebraska for a three-year statewide depression screening and referral project. This initiative aims to establish perinatal depression screening as the standard of care and to identify statewide treatment referral systems. A toolkit is available to guide implementation of perinatal depression screening. 

Legislative Update: On July 21st, 2022 Nebraska Statute 38.204.01 went into effect. This bill recommends mental health screenings for mothers during and after pregnancy and tasks the Board of Medicine and Board of Nursing with crafting policies with providers around maternal depression screenings. ​
2024 Maternal Mental Health State Report Cards Released (May 15, 2024)

In 2023, the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health, in collaboration with George Washington University, released the first-ever grading of state efforts in addressing maternal mental health. The 2024 report cards highlight the progress and remaining areas of opportunity. The overall national grade improved slightly from a D to a D+ as state grades inched upward. Thirty-three state grades improved; three states earned Bs (an increase from one state in 2023), and five states earned failing grades (down from 15 states in 2023). Nebraska improved to D (F). 

The 2024 report card grades states on 18 measures in 3 domains:

  • Providers and Programs 
  • Screening and Screening Reimbursement
  • Insurance Coverage and Payment 

Access the state maternal mental health report cards here

If your clinic or facility is interested in participating in NPQIC's Perinatal Depression Screening Initiative, contact us here

Screening Recommendations

USPSTF Depression and Suicide Risk in Adults: Screening (June, 2023)  

NEW ACOG Clinical Practice Guideline: Screening and Diagnosis of Mental Health Conditions During Pregnancy and Postpartum (June, 2023)  

AAP Policy Statement (January, 2019)  

AAP Call to Action: Screening Fathers (January, 2020) 

Project Resources

NPQIC Perinatal Family Mental Health Initiative Fact Sheet
NPQIC Toolkit: Clinical Guidelines for Implementing Universal Perinatal Depression Screening (7/2023)

Prevalence of Selected Maternal and Child Health Indicators for Nebraska, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), 2016–2020

Nebraska's Maternal Mental Health Report Card (5/2023)

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline, HRSA

  • Call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)
  • 24/7, free, confidential hotline for pregnant and new moms in English and Spanish
  • Promotional Materials Available for Free


Rural Maternal Mental Health Training Webinar Series

Brought to you by CHI Health and NPQIC. Each session has been approved for 1 hour of CME/CE. 

  • Session 1: Perinatal Mental Health Overview (4/18/2023)
  • Session 2: Management and Treatment of Mental Health Presentations in Pregnancy and Postpartum (5/2/2023)

To receive CME/CE, you MUST complete the post-training evaluation here

ACOG Online Learning Course

Addressing Perinatal Mental Health Conditions In Obstetric Settings

  • Free, 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • Available May 18, 2023 - March 1, 2025