WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As the U.S. observes National Suicide Prevention Month and National Recovery Month, it is crucial that we pay particular attention to the impact of mental health conditions on new mothers. Maternal suicide is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, with suicides comprising up to 20% of all postpartum deaths. These suicides are driven in large part by the maternal mental health crisis, which impacts 1 in 5 new moms.
Federal support for maternal mental health services is often fragmented and siloed across executive branch departments and agencies, leaving vulnerable moms in the lurch. Today, in an effort to address these gaps, Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Taskforce Recommending Improvements for Unaddressed Mental Perinatal & Postpartum Health (TRIUMPH) for New Moms Act of 2021. The bill will create a federal task force and national strategy to coordinate government resources, improve program efficiency, and work strategically with Governors to increase mental health prevention and treatment services for moms across the United States.
The TRIUMPH Act will coalesce key agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), other federal departments, as well as other stakeholders, to: 1) review existing federal programs that address maternal mental health and better coordinate those programs; 2) identify and report on best practices related to prevention, screening, early intervention, referral to care, and treatment for mothers with mental health issues; 3) develop a national strategy for maternal mental health; 4) and work with Governors to disseminate the strategy and implement best practices in the states.
By breaking down the bureaucracy and clarifying executive branch strategy, we can direct resources to the families and communities most in need. Currently, 50% of moms suffering from maternal mental health conditions are never identified and treated, leading to long-term effects on the mother and infant. TRIUMPH will equip existing maternal and infant health programs with best practices, cross-departmental partnerships, and a focus on mental health care integration in order to protect new moms and families at the most vulnerable time in their lives.
"Mothers too often face immense mental health challenges before and after giving birth, and new moms need more support to help them manage and overcome these health concerns," Senator Hassan said. "Our bipartisan bill would take long-overdue steps to coordinate a federal response to address postpartum depression and anxiety, as well as the devastating rate of maternal suicides. I will continue to work with Senator Tillis and my colleagues across the aisle to get pregnant and postpartum mothers the resources that they need to take care of themselves and their babies."
"We need to remove the stigma attached to mental health, especially for new moms who are battling with postpartum depression," said Senator Tillis. "We must support mothers and streamline suicide prevention and mental health treatment services, and this legislation does just that. I am proud to work with Senator Hassan on this important bipartisan legislation to provide resources to mothers across North Carolina and the rest of the country."
Shalini Wickramatilake, Director of Public Policy for 2020 Mom, said, "The TRIUMPH Act will not only improve efficiency at the federal level but also at the individual level, ensuring that moms receive mental health services that are effective and efficient." Wickramatilake added, "2020 Mom is proud to be partnering with lawmakers on this important piece of legislation. We applaud Senators Hassan and Tillis for their leadership and commitment to ensuring that moms receive the care that they need."
Learn more about the bill here.
Shalini Wickramatilake, Director of Public Policy, 2020 Mom
About 2020 Mom:
2020 Mom is a national nonprofit organization committed to closing the gaps in maternal mental health care by advancing effective policies. Learn more at http://www.2020mom.org.
SOURCE 2020 Mom