Quality Quarterly

133 Hospitals Join HQI’s New Perinatal Mental Health Learning Community

Postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the most common complication of childbirth, affecting approximately one in five birthing women, with prevalence rates even higher in low-income communities and communities of color.  Unfortunately, few women are diagnosed and even fewer receive treatment.   

Hospitals are well positioned to help women and families become aware of this issue, encourage them to attend to their own health, and reach out for help if needed. To assist hospitals in this effort, HQI recently launched the Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Learning Community, which aims to strengthen hospital approaches to mental health during the perinatal period.

So far, 133 California birthing hospitals have joined the PMH Learning Community, and the enrollment remains open to others. The Learning Community features webinars, group office hours, one-on-one coaching, and other learning and peer-exchange opportunities for participating hospitals. Online training modules for hospital staff are currently in development, with expected release in April 2020.  

To enroll, learn more about the resources and programming, review materials and recordings from past learning events, or to see the list of participating hospitals, visit the program website. 

Funded by the California Health Care Foundation and free to all California birthing hospitals, the PMH Learning Community is delivered through HQI’s collaboration with Maternal Mental Health NOW, and  CommonSpirit Health.  

The program is designed to increase the capacity of hospital staff to recognize, understand, and effectively respond to perinatal mental health issues, as well as to effectively link with community partners and resources.  Participating in the PMH Learning Community will also help hospitals comply with a California law (2018 Assembly Bill 3032) that requires hospitals to educate perinatal employees about maternal mental health conditions, as well as inform postpartum women and families about the signs and symptoms of maternal mental health disorders, local post-hospital treatment options, and resources.