249754 New Haven Mental health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership: Developing public health infrastructure around women's mental health

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:30 PM

Megan V. Smith, DrPH, MPH , School of Medicine, Dept of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Marijane L. Carey, MPH, MSW , Carey Consulting, Hamden, CT
Heather B. Howell, MSW, LCSW , School of Medicine, Dept of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Background: Women are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from depression than men. After exposure to a trauma, women are twice as likely as men to develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and PTSD is more chronic in women than men. Low-income, racially and ethnically diverse women of child-bearing age are the least likely to seek care and the most likely to be adversely affected by mental illness.

Methods: Formed in 2001, the New Haven MOMS Partnership is a community-academic partnership focused on developing public health infrastructure in the City of New Haven to address the mental health needs of low-income, racially and ethnically diverse, pregnant and parenting women. In 2009, a needs assessment using community mental health ambassadors trained in public health research methods was conducted using focus groups (n=10); key informant interviews (n=23), semi structured interviews (n=135) and surveys (n=356). We used a gender-based framework to analyze qualitative and quantitative data and a participatory approach to prioritizing areas for intervention.

Results: Gender-based analysis revealed the need to apply a life course model of women's heath to women's mental health, such that mental health needs and services for women were provided not solely in pregnancy or immediately postpartum. Community capacity and the capacity of the community-academic partnership pertaining to women's mental heath increased over time.

Conclusion: Our work indicates that community-academic partnerships to address maternal mental health are feasible and produce significant impact on the design and implementation of mental health interventions for women across the life course.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1.) Describe the lifecourse perspective as it pertains to women's mental health 2.) Define the mental health risks for women of child bearing age

Keywords: Mental Health, Maternal Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as the principal investigator on the grant award from which the abstract is generated
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.