Moving Beyond Depression, An Effective Program to Treat Maternal Depression in Home Visiting: Opportunities for States


Depression is prevalent among new mothers, par- ticularly among low-income women. High rates of maternal depression (including prenatal and postpar- tum conditions) have been found among the popula- tions served by home visiting programs. For example studies suggest that half of low-income women in home visiting, Early Head Start, and other public programs report depressive symptoms. For women living in poverty and women of color, depression often goes untreated.

While depression is prevalent among mothers in home visiting programs, these programs alone are insufficient to bring about substantial improvement in depression for individuals and populations served. Furthermore, studies show that depression can lessen or constrain the potential positive effects of home visiting services.

This brief highlights the Moving Beyond DepressionTM program and its effective, new approach to treating maternal depression. Using In-Home Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (IH-CBT), Moving Beyond Depression offers treatment for depressed mothers, provided alongside a home visiting pro- gram. The approach seeks to: a) optimize engage- ment and impact through delivery of treatment in the home setting; b) focus on issues important to young, low-income mothers; and c) build a strong collaborative relationship between therapists and home visitors to enhance the effectiveness of both approaches.

Recent research on Moving Beyond Depression demonstrates the potential for using IH-CBT to augment what evidence-based home visiting models offer families and significantly improve outcomes. States have opportunities to add this evidence- based, maternal depression treatment program to their home visiting programs and systems. Using MIECHV, Medicaid, health reform and other policy options, states can add evidence-based treatment ca- pacity to reduce, not just screen for, maternal depres- sion among high risk new mothers.

Source: Every Child Succeeds

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