Formed in September 2011, The California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative is in part the result of the passage of Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee sponsored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 105 (Assemblymember Pedro Nava), which declared May as Perinatal Depression Awareness month in California. ACR 105 also urged private and public stakeholders to form a volunteer task force to address opportunities for increasing awareness of and screening for maternal mental health disorders. The collaborative includes over 30 members representing for-profit, non-profit, and government organizations, including representatives from the regional collaboratives/task forces in the state. Members include a wide representation of the community: medical and mental health professionals, educators, community advocates, and individuals who have experienced these disorders.
As anyone who has advocated for a policy change in the state legislature knows - getting the bill passed is only the first (very important!) step. Implementation is crucial and we are proud to see former Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee Co-Chair Joy Burkhard leading this essential effort on the behalf of mothers and families. Please read her blog update below to find out more about all the important work that the Collaborative is doing.
The Collaborative Turns 2
Posted originally by Joy Burkhard on September 18, 2013
This week marks the Collaborative's two year anniversary.
Our first state-wide call was held on September 15, 2011 with stakeholders from all over California. At that time our primary focus was to help people across the state connect and share their work. We are still hosting those calls, but as we've networked and learned, we have realized that this cause needed us to do much more.
- Since then we have continued to be a convener of experts and multiple stakeholder groups, through face to face forums held twice a year. (Thank you to Cigna for helping fund our 2013 forums, and scholarship pool.)
- We have studied the landscape, barriers and possibilities
- We have come to understand the facts around why women aren't routinely being screenedfor maternal mental health disorders
- We recognize that doctors alone can't solve this problem
- In response have launched a national campaign, the 2020 Mom Project, to share what can be done about it with "very sensible recommendations" for hospitals and insurers.
- We have shared the vision through the 2020 Mom Project 3 minute video
- We are traveling to help inform organizations and partners like the county Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Directors, the California National Alliance of Mental Health, the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, the California Association of Health Plans and more
- We have become an official non-profit in the state of California, and our IRS 501c3 status should be approved shortly.
- We are beginning to engage moms who have suffered and are eager support our programs, as Ambassadors so another mom can be spared their agony.
- We are addressing the shortage of maternal mental health providers, we tapped Postpartum Support International to join us in providing the first webinar certificate training program for health care professionals. September 9, our course launched with 44 students, who are more enthusiastic than we could have ever dreamed, with the hope of helping a mom.
Here's to many more happy years together,
Joy, Judy, Liz, Bindu, Juli, Michelle and Dawn (our 2013-2014 board of trustees)