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A team of researchers is calling for comprehensive changes to U.S. health care and social policies to improve diagnosis and treatment of perinatal mental health conditions and mitigate the dramatic disparities that put women of color at significantly greater risks of morbidity and mortality compared with white women.

In a commentary published in the journal Health Affairs, the researchers proposed seven comprehensive changes to health care and economic policies to mitigate the burden of undiagnosed and untreated perinatal mental health challenges that are greatest among racial minority populations.

The researchers’ recommendations include a national training and certification program for health care providers; payment models that enable women to obtain services through community-based providers; paid family leave; expanded funding for perinatal psychiatry access programs; and access to safe, legal abortions and contraception. They also proposed poverty-mitigation strategies such as reinstating the federal child tax credit and implementing a universal basic income program.

The article discusses the urgent need for policy changes to address disparities in perinatal mental health care. Researchers emphasize that existing policies often fail to adequately support individuals experiencing perinatal mental health issues, particularly those from marginalized communities.

Studies highlight significant disparities in access to perinatal mental health care, with minority and low-income individuals facing greater barriers to support services. These disparities are exacerbated by systemic factors such as lack of insurance coverage, stigma surrounding mental health, and limited availability of culturally competent care.

Researchers advocate for policy reforms aimed at improving access to perinatal mental health care, including increased funding for community-based services, expansion of insurance coverage for mental health treatment, and implementation of culturally sensitive interventions.

Addressing perinatal mental health disparities requires a multifaceted approach that prioritizes equity, accessibility, and inclusivity in mental health care delivery.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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