A Maternal Mental Health Hotline, a confidential, toll-free hotline for expecting and new moms experiencing mental health challenges, was launched on Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2022 by the US Health and Human Services (HHS) Department’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
“Today, we are creating a safe space for expecting and new moms who are experiencing maternal depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns to have confidential conversations and get the support they need,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Moms can call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS and connect with a counselor at no charge.”
The hotline offers an array of support such as interventions from trained counselors who are culturally and trauma-informed, as well as referrals to both community-based and telehealth providers as needed. Callers also will receive evidence-based information and referrals to support groups and other community resources.
“This new Maternal Mental Health Hotline will not only advance our priorities of tackling the nation’s mental health crisis but also support our efforts to ensure healthy pregnancies and support new parents,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.
According to a HHS news release, the Maternal Mental Health Hotline is part of the current presidential administration’s approach to improving maternal health and equity. In 2021 Vice President Kamala Harris hosted the first-ever federal Maternal Day of Action where she announced a “Call to Action” to improve health outcomes for parents and infants in the US. The launch of this hotline is part of HHS’s ongoing efforts to support safe pregnancies and childbirth, and eliminate pregnancy-related health disparities.
In addition, the HHS is funding 7 states to support a Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression Program to expand women’s health care providers’ training in mental health and to provide them with teleconsultation access to mental health specialists to support their patients’ mental health needs
The hotline is accessible by phone or text at 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746) in English and Spanish. TTY Users can use a preferred relay service or dial 711 and then 1-833-943-5746.
This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor