2018 is a landmark year for Maternal Mental Health in Florida as the legislature considers Senate Bill 138, the “Florida Families First Act,” filed by Senator Lauren Book. The Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative is hosting a Maternal Mental Health Advocacy Day in Tallahassee on Monday, January 29, 2018.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, postpartum depression is the most common, yet also most under-diagnosed, obstetrical complication in our county impacting women, infants and their families. Approximately 40,000 Florida families will be affected by a maternal mental health disorder. Most medical care providers don’t screen for these disorders and if they do, they are unsure of local specialized resources to help care for their patients’ needs. Maternal mental health disorders can occur during pregnancy and up to one year after delivery. This can include mild to severe depression and anxiety; and the less common but very serious postpartum psychosis that presents a need for emergency medical attention.
Since its founding in 2016, the Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative has brought together increasing numbers of various professional disciplines, advocates and survivors across the state to partner for positive change in awareness, education and services for maternal mental illnesses.
Partners from across the state will convene in Tallahassee on Monday, January 29 to educate and advocate for attention to these needs addressing postpartum depression and related illnesses. The Florida Families First Act has passed favorably through its first committee appearance, the Senate Health Policy Committee and will now be sent before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.