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 www.FLMomsMatter.org



Lauren DePaola – (352) 278-2538

Heather Flynn – (850) 645-7367

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Amandla Shabaka-Haynes

Dr. Amandla Shabaka-Haynes, M.D. is a native of Tallahassee, Florida. She received her B.S. in Biology/Pre-medicine at Xavier University of Louisiana and completed her medical training at the Latin American School of Medicine. She currently serves as Program Manager for pediatric and perinatal behavioral health programs at the Florida State University College of Medicine Center for Behavioral Health Integration. Dr. Haynes has previously served as board member for Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition; Women's Health Liaison and Outreach Specialist at a local Federally Qualified Health Center. She is also a certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist.

Dr. Haynes is an advocate for the BIPOC birth community, supporting efforts to improve birth outcomes and reduce health inequities. In her volunteer roles, she serves as chair of the Awareness Workgroup of the Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, Advisor for the Sister Friends Tallahassee Birthing Project, and Women’s Health Educator for the Melanin Mothers Meet Postpartum Support Program. At her core, Dr. Haynes is a mother, mentor, an active local and international community member, a bilingual health educator, and a lover of food and culture.