New Texas Law to Create Strategic Plan to Improve Access to Postnatal Depression Resources

txas-house-bill-postnatal-postpartum-depression

New Texas Law to Create Strategic Plan to Improve Access to Postnatal Depression Resources

July 25, 2019

Texas is in the top 10 states with the highest percentage of women with postnatal depression following Louisiana and Tennessee. In many instances postnatal depression might go undiagnosed because of lack of resources, access to help or education and/or stigma.

 

Texas passed a bill requiring a strategic plan to be created to improve access to postnatal depression screening, referral, treatment and support services. House Bill 253, which is effective September 1, 2019, states the strategic plan must provide strategies to*:

1. Increase awareness among providers who care for women who are at risk or are experiencing postnatal depression about the prevalence and effects on themselves and their children

2. Establish a referral network of community-based mental health providers and support services

3. Increase access to formal and informal peer support services

4. Raise public awareness of and reduce the stigma related to postnatal depression

5. Leverage sources of funding to support existing community-based postnatal depression screening, referral, treatment and support services

Screening and education are key components of this bill. Educating not only the women who could potentially be at risk but also the public to reduce the stigma surrounding postnatal depression. Once the stigma is reduced, by spreading awareness and simply talking about it, women will feel more comfortable being honest about their how they are feeling. This will increase the opportunities to treat it before it is too late.

This is also why screening is so important to ensure that clinicians are able to receive a true picture of their patients’ mental health. Electronic screening, like assessURhealth, are patient-driven which allow women to be more honest with their answers because no one is asking them directly. assessURhealth also screens for multiple risk categories to identify potential underlying or co-occurring risks.

This bill provides Texas clinicians and women with better access to the resources to get the help they need. It truly helps to move the message that no woman is alone, we all have mental health and together we can #EndTheStigma.

* Bullet points within article were abbreviated from formal bill. Please review full bill text for more information.

Confidential help is available for you or someone you know who is struggling. For personal help please see our resources page or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline site.

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If you are seeking personal or individual help please dial 911 for an emergency or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Please see our resources page for a list of government and non-profit mental & behavioral health organizations.