With the Iowa Caucuses officially kicking off the election process today, many moms are thinking about what a new President will mean for maternal mental health care in this country. We know that mental health care needs improvement across the board for all people and we support any improvement. In fact, most states only maintained or cut mental health funding in 2015, with only 23 states increasing funds. Cutting funding doesn’t help people who need help.
We’re also concerned about moms. We’re thrilled to see the recommendation for pregnant and new moms to received depression screenings, but we know much more work waits ahead and we want to know how our potential future leaders will handle it. We do a good job of fighting the stigma of maternal mental illness, but there’s a lot more work to be done to help moms with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. So we asked some hard questions of our candidates.
What Moms Would Ask Presidential Candidates About Maternal Mental Health
Proper mental health care (therapists, meds, psychiatrists) can often seem unattainable because of limited (or no) insurance coverage, high cost, and long wait periods. What do you plan to do to make mental health care attainable for all Americans? -Amber D.
Maternal mental health is a complex and multi-faceted issue that, because of its nature, affects such a wide section of America’s population. A huge part of the struggle is how sadly behind the US is when it comes to basics like paid parental leave. How do you plan to improve our standing when it comes to this? -Amber D.
Doctors in Obstetrics and Gynecology are usually the “first responders” for mothers suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. What will you do to ensure that these doctors are equipped with the knowledge and tools to truly help these women? -Jessica L.
I’ve heard some candidates talking about cutting social security benefits.This is troubling since many people with mental illness depend on social security in order to receive proper treatment. What is your position on this? -Candice B.
Now that the US Preventive Task Force has recommended PPD screening, will you support it being reimbursed for healthcare providers who give the screenings? -Katherine S.
Many moms in underserved communities slip through the cracks due to lack of awareness, cultural bias against mental illness, and other issues. Would you support endeavors to create awareness campaigns and fund mental health care facilitators in these areas? -Jenna H.
Only 23 states increased funding for mental health in 2015. Would you offer incentives to states to create new programs and policies to help those dealing with mental illness? -Jenna H.
We know there are a lot of other issues presented to our candidates. We also acknowledge that citizens votes are based on more than one issue. We feel, however, that in order to serve our families, asking these questions is important. We want our next President to know that mothers and their mental health matter.
What do you want to ask the Presidential candidates about maternal mental health in this country?
Inspired by a great post at The Mighty: 18 Mental Health Questions We Want to Ask the Presidential Candidates.