Rep. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., will introduce legislation Monday that would reauthorize and expand a grant program to screen and treat maternal mental health and substance use disorders, her spokesperson said.
The bill would help provide permanent resources to new mothers, including a 24/7 voice and text hotline and improved screening and treatment programs for postpartum mental health issues. Suicide and overdoses are leading causes of fear for postpartum women, yet the vast majority of postpartum women who experience mental health problems never receive treatment, a need exacerbated by the pandemic, the spokesperson said.
"The health and success of families begins with our moms and right now, we are leaving too many without the care and support they need. Despite incredibly high rates of mental health issues during pregnancy, 75 percent of mothers never get treatment -- that ends now," Clark said in a statement. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., Michael C. Burgess, R-Texas, Doris Matsui, D-Calif., Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y. and Young Kim, R-Calif., are also backing the bill, Clark's office said.
Looking ahead: Clark's office would not say whether it has spoken with leadership about the bill.
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