Florida State University receives funding for program aimed at improving maternal mental health outcomes in Florida

Florida State University | Press Release

In the state of Florida, approximately 15 percent of all mothers report experiencing depression during or after childbirth, but fewer than 20 percent of mothers seek or had access to professional help. Much of the problem lies in the lack of routine screening by prenatal care providers

A new grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration aims to improve maternal mental health outcomes by increasing screening rates and patient access to treatment and resources. Florida is one of seven states to receive the grant, which was awarded to the Florida Department of Health.

The FDOH partnered with FSU College of Medicine Professor and Vice Chair Heather Flynn as principal investigator on the $3.25 million grant. She received $2 million from the agency to help develop a sustainable screening and treatment model to address unmet maternal mental health needs across the state.

“This is a huge opportunity for Florida to start really addressing perinatal mental health and substance abuse, which we currently don’t really do at all in any systematic way throughout the state,” said Flynn. “Florida has the third largest birth rate in the nation, so this can have a tremendous impact on maternal mental health outcomes in the U.S.”

Heather A. Flynn, PhD

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Heather A. Flynn, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor & Vice Chair for Research at the Florida State University College of Medicine in the Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Flynn serves as FSU’s representative in NNDC’s leadership and as a co-chair of the NNDC Women and Mood Disorders task group.