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A National Call to Action: How Focusing on Perinatal Mental Health will Improve the Health and Well-Being of Mothers, Babies, Families, and Communities

Mental health disorders are the second leading cause of death among new mothers between 43 days and one-year postpartum. Women of color have double the rates of Postpartum Depression, with 38% experiencing PPD, compared to 13 – 19% for all new mothers. Yet Perinatal Mental Health is often omitted from discussions on maternal, fetal, and infant health.

We invite you to join us for a webinar on October 14, 2021, at 3pm ET as PSI’s Mind the Gap, in partnership with the Center for Law and Social Policy and the Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center explore systems and policy-level changes to ensure Perinatal Mental Health quality outcomes, particularly for people of color.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the importance of including perinatal mental health in all efforts to improve maternal health, including the impact of perinatal mental health disorders on maternal, infant, and family health.
  • Identify policy-level changes to support equitable perinatal mental health outcomes
  • Identify strategies to ensure racial equity in Medicaid and other health systems.

Visit our Resource Center for the recording, slide deck, and discussion questions.

How Focusing on Perinatal Mental Health will Improve Well-Being of Mothers, Families, Communities


Jennifer McKeever, Director, Advocacy Networks, The Reilly Group, Inc

As Director of Policy and Advocacy Networks with the Reilly Group, Jennifer is spearheading an initiative called Mind the Gap, which aims to turn the tide on the crisis of undiagnosed and untreated Perinatal Mental Health conditions in America. In this role she is working with a cross-sector coalition of mental health, public health, maternal health, and women’s health leaders to integrate perinatal mental health into policy and legislation, ensuring that the mental health and well-being of mothers, babies, and families are a national priority.

Isha Weerasinghe, Senior Policy Analyst, Mental Health, Center for Law and Social Policy

Isha Weerasinghe is a senior policy analyst focused on mental health and sits in CLASP’s youth team. She works on how CLASP’s issue areas impact individuals’ mental health, with a specific focus on youth, young adults, and mothers.

Jenn Davis, Chapters Program Manager, Postpartum Support International

Jenn Davis is the State Chapters Manager at PSI. She has over a decade of experience in program development and management. She worked in education for over 11 years where her work ranged from leading adult and student equity work to managing out of school time programs. Jenn is the mother of two— an eight year old daughter and one year old son. She is passionate about supporting mothers and families struggling with perinatal mental health, as she personally experienced postpartum anxiety and depression. Jenn is a Certified Pregnancy Health Coach and would love to become a Postpartum Doula. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Spelman College and a M.P.A in Public Administration from Georgia State University.


October 14, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT