News Release

Inaugural maternal mental health state report cards released

The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health, in collaboration with the George Washington University, are releasing the first-ever grading of state efforts in addressing maternal mental health; the results show 42 states receiving a D or below

Reports and Proceedings

George Washington University

Maternal Mental Health State Report Cards

image: The inaugural Maternal Mental Health Report Card provides the first-ever comprehensive view into the state of maternal mental health in America. view more 

Credit: The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2023
Media Contacts: Kathy Fackelmann, and Rachel Larris,

WASHINGTON (May 4, 2023)--Maternal Mental Health disorders like postpartum depression affect roughly 600,000 (20%) of U.S. mothers a year, with Black and other women of color experiencing substantial disparities in rates and access to care. It is estimated that up to 50% of mothers are not diagnosed by a health care professional, and that 75% of women never get the treatment they need and that is promised in health care coverage contracts.

When left untreated, these disorders can have lasting impacts on women’s wellbeing, family stability and children’s development. Untreated maternal mental health disorders are estimated to cost the U.S. $14.2 billion annually.

To address the gaps the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health has, in collaboration with the George Washington University (GW), created a report card that scores each state's efforts. 

“Because in the United States health delivery is largely overseen by the states, we knew it was time to give states insight into how they are supporting maternal mental health.  With a standard set of measures, states can now benchmark their performance against other states and compare their own performance year over year,” Joy Burkhard, Executive Director of the Policy Center, said.

The report cards grades states in three key domains:

  1. Providers and Programs
  2. Screening Requirements and Reimbursements
  3. Insurance Coverage and Payment

Up to three points are provided for each of the 17 measures within these domains.

“The results of this first ever grading system are not good – with 42 states receiving a D or below,” Caitlin Murphy, the research scientist at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health, whose research supported the creation of the report cards, said.  “The highest grade any state received was a B-, and this was in just one state - California - where the Policy Center has indicated that significant recent philanthropic, legislative and advocacy efforts have occurred.”

Access the first maternal mental health state report cards here.

About The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health

The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health (the “Policy Center”) is working to prevent the suffering of mothers, babies, and families associated with untreated maternal mental health disorders, like postpartum depression. The Policy Center has driven the national conversation from one centered around raising awareness of one disorder, postpartum depression, to building a movement to address maternal mental health. The organization's work centers around closing gaps in the healthcare system by scaling change through the identification of evidence-based and emerging solutions, cross-sector collaboration, and advancing legislative and regulatory policy solutions. For more information, visit follow @PolicyCenterMMH on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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