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Mental Health Needs Assessment in the Management of Perinatal Psychiatric Disorders


Untreated perinatal mental illness is associated with high-risk pregnancy and a wide range of harmful outcomes that threaten the mother, fetus, and child's safety and well-being. Despite the health risks posed by mental disorders during the perinatal period, pregnant women often do not receive adequate or any psychiatric treatment. Also, there is a dearth of research on the psychiatric care of this population. These trends are especially disconcerting given that effective pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments do exist that can be used safely during the perinatal period.

A significant first step in addressing these training and knowledge gaps is to better understand psychiatrists' attitudes about and practices towards perinatal women with mental health and substance use disorders, which is the focus of this initiative.


The initiative aims to perform a needs assessment via focus groups and surveys conducted among the perinatal population with mental and substance use disorders and mental health professionals who treat pregnant women with MI.

Advisory Panel

The initiative is informed by a 20-member advisory panel comprised of representatives from the APA, American Psychological Association, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Counseling Association, and National Association of Social Workers. They aid in the development and refinement of all aspects of the project.

Program Deliverables

The program deliverables will include a perinatal psychiatric care toolkit for physicians and nonpsychiatric behavioral health providers, which will include information about how to provide patient-centered perinatal mental health, process measures that can aid in tracking quality care, and a brief compendium of educational resources.


February 15, 2022 to February 28, 2023


For questions or more information, please email [email protected].

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