Help us Save Georgia Mommies!
August 03, 2016
Project Healthy Moms is an initiative to increase awareness, identification, treatment, and support of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Georgia, while also reducing the stigma associated with them.
What is Maternal Mental Illness (MMI)?
Up to 20% of childbearing women in the U.S. will experience some form of MMI in any given year, and 50-70% of these mothers will contend with long-term symptoms that affect their ability to effectively parent their children, lending to a host of problems for the baby and the family unit. In fact, postpartum depression is now recognized as the number 1 complication of childbirth over and above all physical complications.
In Georgia alone, over 30,000 pregnant and postpartum women will likely experience a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder, yet only 5% of them will get treatment.
The value of screening for MMI.
Immediate maternal mental health interventions have been shown to improve infant development delays. Data also indicate that maternal mental health is a modifiable risk factor—such that, early intervention aimed at mitigating issues related to maternal mental health, like improving maternal functioning, parenting abilities, and mother-child bonding, should enhance development in infancy and later in childhood.
Coordinated screening procedures for MMI through trained healthcare providers are universally recommended by researchers in the field as a strategy to promote maternal mental health and to ensure positive child health outcomes. Most recently, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released a landmark evidence report endorsing the screening of pregnant and postpartum women for depression in order to improve health outcomes in these populations. Screenings can and should be performed by all providers who have direct contact with pregnant women and mothers but sadly are currently overlooked.
Together, we can help women suffering from MMI.
We are proud to say that Project Healthy Moms is the first Georgia-specific PMAD Education, Screening, and Identification Training. We offer a variety of programs to increase awareness, identification, treatment and support of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) in Georgia and reduce the stigma associated with these illnesses.
Donations are specifically used toward training healthcare providers and other professionals that work with pregnant/postpartum women gain greater insight into signs and symptoms of each illness, how to screen for PMADs, why screening is critical, what challenges they may face when implementing screening practices, and where to refer mothers if they need treatment and support.
The training lasts approximately 2 hours and may also be used as 1.5 hours of continuing education credit deemed acceptable through the National Association of Social Workers. Each training consists of a Powerpoint presentation, interactive discussion, and assisted practice utilizing a scientifically validated screening tool used in a variety of settings. Our facilitators bring to each training their knowledge and skills working with moms suffering from maternal mental illness, as well as their personal lived experience.
Without you, these training's would not be possible. We need your help!