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MotherWoman Receives National Recognition and Is Expanding Perinatal Depression Model to Additional MA Communities

Liz Friedman
MotherWoman Program Director

Shelly Smith
MotherWoman Program Assistant



HADLEY, MA ( August 3, 2015)— MotherWoman is seeking qualified community partners to implement the Community-Based Perinatal Support Model™ (CPSM) and bring FREE perinatal depression resources to communities across the Commonwealth. Applications are due August 19th by 5:00 pm EST.

MotherWoman has been partnering with communities across Western MA for over the past 6 years to address perinatal mental health so that mothers can receive the care and treatment that they need. In 2014, MotherWoman announced the first Request for Proposal for communities to participate in implementation of the Community-based Perinatal Support Model (CPSM). Six diverse communities were selected for this grant opportunity, Brockton, Cape & Islands, Greater Lynn, Greater New Bedford, Springfield, and Worcester.  Communities implementing the CPSM have shown progress in leadership identification, coalition development, community education, resource development, triage and referral protocols, and implementing perinatal depression screening. Since implementing the CPSM in these six communities, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) has recognized the CPSM as a Promising Practice for addressing maternal and child health.

“MotherWoman is honored to be recognized by AMCHP for our efforts to improve perinatal mental health resources across MA. We are thrilled to be able to expand our CPSM to new communities across the state. We know that when communities implement the CPSM they are able to address multiple barriers to care like stigma, lack of training, and public education by helping care providers join together in identifying the needs of women with perinatal emotional complications.  MotherWoman is committed to providing mothers and families with the care and treatment necessary for recovery in communities across the Commonwealth” said Shannon Rudder, Executive Director of MotherWoman.

MotherWoman is proud to announce the release of the 2015-2016 Request for Proposal for additional communities to bring FREE perinatal depression resources to their community. The primary purpose of this proposal is to engage communities in improving resources, care, and treatment for mother’s experiencing perinatal depression. MotherWoman is a non-profit organization aimed at creating community safety nets for mothers at risk for or experiencing perinatal depression through creating community safety nets, impacting family policy and promoting the leadership and resilience of mothers.  Funding for this opportunity is provided through the MA Department of Mental Health and the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) for Moms.

“We know MCPAP for Moms, which is a psychiatry referral program for providers caring for mother and children, benefits from partnering with communities to gain the highest level of success. The CPSM brings multiple dimensions to the process of improving perinatal mental health and family outcomes. The focus should not only be on psychiatric care. That is why it is so important that MotherWoman be part of MCPAP for Moms (M4M). MotherWoman is on the ground working with communities to bring key resources to M4M. This partnership contributes to making essential supports available to mothers in their local communities,” said Dr. John Straus, Senior Executive of MCPAP.

Research shows that 10 – 20% of mothers experience perinatal depression. These numbers drastically increase when additional risk factors like poverty, domestic violence, addiction and teen pregnancy are taken into consideration. When undiagnosed and untreated, perinatal depression can have severe negative effects on mother, infant and birth outcomes, including infant low birth weight and social, emotional and cognitive developmental challenges to babies and children. This results in an increase in medical expenses, visits to the ER and loss of income to families.

“Even though the odds of developing postpartum depression (PPD) were stacked against me, I still didn’t think it could happen to me. And then it hit. HARD. I just kept falling. To make matters worse none of my health care providers knew how to help me. But thankfully MotherWoman did. I look forward to a time when all moms receive the support and care they need during this difficult period,” said Massachusetts mom, Elizabeth Reinke, RN.

Communities that are selected will participate in the Community-based Perinatal Support Model© which will provide them with resources and training to identify leadership, build or expand community coalitions, expand professional trainings for providers, identify and expand community resources, and ultimately create a system of care that allows for easy support and referral for mothers when they need it the most.

 The CPSM Has Three Main Goals:

1. Build the capacity of providers including medical, mental health, social service, and community support organizations

2. Develop or enhance community-based coalitions that will address the gaps in services and provide a clear pathway from identification and screening to treatment, between medical, mental health, and social service providers

3. Expand resources within communities through readily available culturally competent support groups to enhance and increase already existing mental health resources

 “We must address barriers to care for Postpartum Depression. MotherWoman's CPSM does an outstanding job of breaking down these barriers, and I'm thrilled to see it expanding across the state," said Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst), Chairwoman of the Special Legislative Commission on Postpartum Depression.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible grantees are communities in Massachusetts ready to work together to build or expand an active coalition to address perinatal mental health and pursue goals to improve care and treatment. The community must be dedicated to the mental well-being and health of mother’s and families.  

For more information about the CPSM RFP and how to apply, go to www.motherwoman.org or email shelly@motherwoman.org.  

About MotherWoman

MotherWoman’s mission is to support and empower mothers to create positive personal and social change for themselves, their families, their communities and the world. MotherWoman also addresses the socio-economic issues facing American mothers by advocating for family-friendly policy. MotherWoman seeks to create a culture that understands and de-stigmatizes screening and treatment of perinatal emotional complications. MotherWoman promotes evidence-informed models in prevention, detection, and treatment of perinatal emotional complications by addressing barriers to care. MotherWoman, is committed to ensuring that ALL mothers in the Commonwealth have information and education, access to resources, and proper care when faced with perinatal emotional complications. MotherWoman has successfully trained many medical and mental health professionals, as well as Support Group facilitators, within various communities across the state to implement this vision.

For more information visit www.motherwoman.org 

About MCPAP for Moms:

MCPAP for Moms is an exciting new statewide program designed to bridge the gap between mothers and their limited access to mental health resources and support needed to address perinatal depression. It is an expansion of the successful Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP), which has improved child mental health care in Massachusetts by offering pediatric primary care providers rapid access to child psychiatry consultation, education, and care coordination. MCPAP for Moms aims to promote maternal and child health by building the capacity of providers serving pregnant and postpartum women and their children up to one year after delivery to effectively prevent, identify, and manage depression. MCPAP for Moms provides real-time, perinatal psychiatric consultation and care coordination for obstetric, pediatric, primary care and psychiatric providers to effectively prevent, identify, and manage depression and other mental health concerns in pregnant and postpartum women.

For more information visit www.mcpapformoms.org