Press Release: Salt Lake City, UT – State and community leaders will gather on February 9that 12:00 PM at the Utah State Capitol in the Capitol Board Room to announce Governor Cox’s Declaration of February 2023 as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month.Survivor moms, maternal mental health providers, advocates, and state and federal leaderswill highlight the importance of investing in maternal mental health, discuss significant statewide maternal mental health efforts including legislation to extend postpartum Medicaid, and share their experiences.
Utah is experiencing a maternal mental health crisis. The rate of depression and anxiety among new mothers is increasing each year. According to data from the Utah Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), in 2021, 51.2% of Utah residents with a recent live birth were affected by depression or anxiety before, during, and/or after pregnancy, up from 45% in 2018-2020.Utah women of color disproportionately experience higher rates of postpartum depression: 24.1% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 18.4% of American Indian/Alaska Native, 23.1% of Black/African American, compared to 15.1% of White non-Hispanic mothers. Additionally, Hispanic/Latina women in Utah have the highest percentage of maternal deaths among racial and ethnic minorities.
Statewide maternal mental health efforts have resulted in greater awareness for Utah families, including the development of a Utah-specific referral and resource network: https://maternalmentalhealth.utah.gov/. The referral site and awareness campaign have helped thousands of mothers connect with care. “This page makes me feel SEEN and VALIDATED. I hope this page reaches as many other struggling mothers and makes them feel heard,” said one Utah mother. Last year, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department launched a national free Maternal Mental Health Hotline. Moms experiencing maternal depression, anxiety or other mental health problems may call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS where they will be connected with a culturally and trauma-informed counselor. The line is available in English and Spanish.
The coalition of Utah partners includes the American Heart Association,the Early Childhood Alliance, Postpartum Support International – Utah Chapter, Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah, Voices for Utah Children, YWCA Utah, among many others.
The press conference is a hybrid event.
Utah State Capitol
Capitol Boardroom, Level 1 (Map)
350 S. State St.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
Hotlines and Resources
Utah Maternal Mental Health Referral and Resource Network:
National HHS Maternal Mental Health Hotline
Call or Text: 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746)
Available in English, Spanish, & TTY via a preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-833-943-5746.