More than the Blues: Maternal Depression Toolkit for Home Visitors

SMA14-4878A new toolkit designed to assist home visitors and other family service providers in identifying and supporting pregnant and postpartum women with depression is now available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

A free webinar will be held March 24 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. to introduce this new resource.

Almost one in five women get depressed at some time in their lifetime. This percentage goes up in stressful situations, like being a mother with young children. Among young women in home visiting, WIC, and Early Head Start and Head Start programs, nearly half may be depressed.

Depression screening is a performance measure for Florida MIECHV home visiting providers (Benchmark 1). All participants enrolled in the program are screened at three months postpartum or post-enrollment using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). In 2014, 85% of enrolled women were appropriately screened by MIECHV home visitors.

The toolkit provides background information about depression and offers ideas that home visitors can use daily when helping mothers, and their families, who may be suffering from depression. The toolkit also includes useful resources and handouts, as well as screening tools.