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
Untreated maternal depression can have lasting consequences on children’s development and may harm their physical and mental health. While depression is one of the most treatable mental illnesses, far too few mothers, particularly low-income mothers, ever receive treatment or support. In Spring 2013, researchers at the Urban Institute convened a group of state and federal policymakers, researchers, policy experts, advocates, philanthropic funders, and practitioners to address this issue and identify promising opportunities for systems and policy change. What emerged were recommendations and practical next steps across and within systems for enhancing services to prevent, identify, and treat low-income mothers with depression.
Source: Urban Institute
Available at: http://www.urban.org/publications/412933.html
Mental illness affects many Americans and disproportionately affects low-income vulnerable families, who typically have less access to treatment even for serious problems. Its effects can be two-generational, with untreated mental illness in a parent potentially affecting children, thus expanding even further the potential importance of effective treatment. Depression, which is highly treatable, is a prime example of a parental mental illness that affects large numbers of families and poses risks to children’s safety and cognitive development when untreated.
Last month, CLASP submitted comments to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in response to its letter soliciting recommendations on how to improve the mental health system. CLASP’s comments highlighted both barriers in the current mental health system and opportunities for improvement.
While low-income parents experience a relatively high risk of depression and other mental health problems, they unfortunately are less likely to get treatment than higher-income adults. A number of barriers in today’s health financing and service systems help explain this disparity:
Today, there are important opportunities to address these barriers, help low-income parents get treatment, and strengthen children’s development as a result. Among the key opportunities arising from the passage of the Affordable Care Act and other related innovations in health care are the following:
There is a troubling trend that researchers have identified again and again – low-income parents, especially single mothers, have higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms than their higher-income counterparts. A new Child Trends’ study found that more than half of a group of low-income mothers in Maryland felt down, depressed, or hopeless in the past year and almost a third had those feelings combined with a lack of interest or pleasure in doing things.
That’s a stark contrast to some national estimates showing that less than 7 percent of all adults have experienced a major depressive episode and that only 5 percent of single parents with incomes at or above the federal poverty level report symptoms of depression. While a recent report from the Urban Institute found that, regardless of income, 14.5 percent of all mothers with young children experienced depression, it also reported that mothers with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level were more likely to experience severe depression, while higher income mothers reported mild or moderate symptoms.
Source: Child Trends
If you know someone who’s expecting a baby this summer, you have plenty of company. More babies are born in July, August, and September than in any other months of the year, according to 2010 Federal data [PDF File, Plugin Software Help].
A new baby brings joy and excitement. But for some women, it can also bring on the start of serious depression. Known as postpartum depression, this condition often starts shortly after a woman gives birth, but it can also begin up to a year later.
Signs of postpartum depression are similar to the symptoms of major depression. They include—
Major depression in women who have given birth in the previous year affects between 1 and 6 percent of the population. In the first 3 months after giving birth, the incidence is higher than 6 percent.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)
Rearing children can be difficult for any parent, but parents who experience social and economic disadvantages may face additional challenges. Child Trends’ latest research brief, Disadvantaged Families and Child Outcomes: The Importance of Emotional Support for Mothers, examines the link between emotional support mothers receive in rearing their children, and their children’s development.
Child Trends found that emotional support for mothers improves outcomes for children, even when controlling for family structure, income, gender, race/ethnicity, and child’s age. Children whose mothers reported receiving emotional support during childrearing were more likely to be engaged in school and exhibit social competence than children whose mothers did not receive emotional support. The same pattern held true for internalizing behaviors; children were less likely to display internalizing behaviors if their mothers had received emotional support. Findings from this brief suggest that providing emotional support for mothers may serve to protect children in both disadvantaged and advantaged families from negative outcomes.
Source: Child Trends
Research exploring the effects of prenatal maternal depression on a developing fetus and child is underrepresented in the literature. Empirical papers have typically focused on the effects of postpartum depression (after birth) instead of prepartum depression (before birth). Disparate empirical findings have produced ongoing debate regarding the effects of prenatal depression on a developing fetus and later in infancy and early childhood. Even more controversial is determining the role of antidepressant medication on offspring outcomes and whether research that does not include the proper control population (e.g., unmedicated depressed participants) can adequately address questions about risks and benefits of treatment during pregnancy. The current review systematically summarizes the literature focusing on unmedicated prenatal depression and offspring outcome and concludes that prepartum depression is highly prevalent, is associated with negative outcomes in offspring, and remains understudied.
Source: Archives of Women’s Mental Health, Volume 15, Number 1 – SpringerLink.
Available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/h62gq3p373535187/