These plans and toolkits have been created through the work of many state and local partners with a shared interest in providing coordinated and comprehensive mental and behavioral health services to women before, during and after pregnancy
With more recent published guidance, public health nurses are increasingly screening for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) in home visitation and clinical settings. New evidence shows that maternal mental illness is a more common health concern than previously thought, and that many cases of what has been called postpartum depression, actually started during the pregnancy. Left untreated, this can be detrimental to the well-being of both the mother and child.
Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. While common, recurrent, and often serious, these illnesses are also treatable, and many people do recover. Additionally, these conditions are often co-occurring. Nearly 50% of people who have one disorder have the other. Research suggests this may be the result of common risk factors contributing to both disorders; substance use may be a form of self-medicating for mental health disorders and brain chemistry can change due to substance use, making mental health disorders more likely. The mental health illnesses which most commonly co-occur with substance use are depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders.
Curious on how the Kansas Connecting Community (KCC) program has impacted our state? This program impact paper aims to describe and explain some of the disparities impacting perinatal behavioral health conditions and maternal health outcomes in the state of Kansas, including recommendations to improve systems of care. Data from the first four years of KCC is highlighted.