Maternal Mental Health Month: Empowering Families Through Support

  • May 22, 2024


In honor of May being Maternal Mental Health Month, it is important to take the time to reflect on the ongoing struggle families are facing when trying to find support for perinatal mood changes. Since this crisis has only recently become a (much-needed) topic of conversation, the resources available to support families are lacking.

This is evident through the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health’s most recent publication of their 2024 State Report Cards. These report cards are designed to assess the availability of Providers and Programs, Screening and Screening Reimbursement, and Insurance Coverage and Treatment within each state to gauge the adequacy of support offered to mothers.

“The U.S. is failing mothers – only scoring a D+ grade. Just three states received B’s, and 29 states received D’s and F’s.” – 2024 State Report Cards, Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health

Several organizations are working to fill these resource gaps and help train professionals to spread support to every corner of the country. They also engage in ongoing advocacy to help enact system-wide changes to support perinatal mental health as a policy, legislative, and medical priority.

Postpartum Support International (PSI) has a plethora of resources for families and the professionals working with them. Each state has its own chapter and volunteer resource coordinators, which can be a great asset for individuals and professionals looking for guidance on local support options. PSI offers certifications and training for professionals hoping to expand their education or specialize in perinatal mental health, loss, or psychiatry. For individuals, regardless of location, PSI offers English and Spanish helplines, virtual support groups, and educational materials.

The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health offers a variety of information, including the aforementioned state report cards, educational resources to support anyone from the individual to the healthcare system level, screening materials, training opportunities, and state and federal policy information. The Policy Center offers a great Listserv service that provides up-to-date information, relevant news, advocacy opportunities, and resources on a consistent basis. To receive information via email or text, sign up here.

The Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance helps coordinate advocacy efforts to further the funding of and access to perinatal mental health care. They focus on bringing together like-minded professionals and advocates from every state to share relevant information and align on shared goals. They offer webinars, advocacy toolkits, and newsletters which are shared consistently through their email Listserv. To receive their newsletters, sign up here.

For those who wish to be part of the change and help advocate for the importance of perinatal mental health services and resources, these are some steps that can be taken by anyone with a passion for this issue:

  1. Talk with the families in your life about their experiences with perinatal mental health. The stigma surrounding perinatal mental health is still a major barrier for those needing support, and the best way to combat that stigma is by approaching these conversations with openness and compassion.
  2. Share resources online and with local organizations. Social media has proven to be a powerful tool, so sharing resources within your personal and professional spheres helps provide needed guidance for those who may not know where to start with finding support. Any organizations or professionals working with perinatal women and their families should be aware of the resources available to support them.
  3. Contact your local news outlets and political representatives. Write an op-ed, offer to share your story, or provide education that can be distributed widely in your area. Reaching out directly to your representatives is a meaningful step to encourage their support of local and statewide resources for families, funding allocations, and coverage of maternal mental health services.
  4. Collaborate with others who share your goals. Creating large shifts in the healthcare system and policy standards requires coordination and cooperation.


In conclusion, Maternal Mental Health Month is a crucial time to acknowledge the struggles that many families face and to highlight the importance of improving support systems for perinatal mood changes. While the 2024 State Report Cards from the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health reveal significant gaps in the availability of resources, there is hope. Organizations like Postpartum Support International, the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health, and the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance are tirelessly working to bridge these gaps through advocacy, training, and resource dissemination.

By engaging in conversations, sharing resources, and advocating for policy changes, each of us can contribute to a more supportive environment for mothers and families. Let’s harness the power of community, social media, and direct advocacy to ensure that perinatal mental health becomes a priority at both the local and national levels. Together, we can create a future where every mother receives the care and support she deserves.