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Federal government awards Florida a Grant to Address Maternal Mental Health

PRESS RELEASE: Federal government awards Florida a Grant to Address Maternal Mental Health

Gainesville, FL– 2018 is a landmark year for Maternal Mental Health in Florida! In March, the state legislature for the first time addressed maternal mental health and passed the “Florida Families First Act,” giving provisions for a hotline and educational materials on postpartum depression and related illnesses. In September, the federal government via the Health Resources and Services Administration, awarded the Florida Department of Health a grant to implement the Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression and Related Behavioral Disorders Program. The program aims to “provide real-time psychiatric consultation, care coordination, and training will help front-line providers screen, assess, refer and treat pregnant and postpartum women for depression and other behavioral health conditions such as anxiety and substance misuse – including in rural and medically under served areas.” Seven states were awarded grants to implement the program.

The Florida Department of Health is partnering with the FSU College of Medicine and the Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative to implement this innovative program in three targeted areas of the state including the Leon county, Duval county and Alachua County areas in Florida. Over the five-year grant period, the program will develop a sustainable screening, referral and treatment model similar to the very successful MCPAP for Moms program in Massachusetts. Some of the other highlighted aspects include: training obstetric providers to use and follow up with validated screening tools; implementing a psychiatric consultation telephone line for medical providers. Telehealth services will be implemented to care for and provide access to women in rural and non-rural areas and community mental health providers will be trained in evidence-based psychotherapy and management of perinatal mood disorders.

Those interested in learning more about the mission and work of the Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative can visit their website at



Lauren DePaola – (352) 278-2538

Heather Flynn – (850) 645-7367

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