program “identifies and monitors selected maternal experiences and behaviors before, during, and after pregnancy.” This effort surveys indicators associated with the incidence of infant mortality and low birth weight, and includes self-reports (by mothers) regarding postpartum depression. CDC does not specifically collect data regarding the incidence or severity of depression during other stages of parenting, the identification of paternal depression, or the impact of parental depression on children; however one of the leading health indicators—mental health—identified in Healthy People 2010 led to a number of objectives including “increase the proportion of adults with recognized depression who receive treatment” and “increase the proportion of persons with co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders who receive treatment for both disorders.” It also contains objectives intended to increase access to quality health services, with topics including insurance, preventive and behavioral services, and competencies as well as racial and ethnic disparities for health providers (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000).
The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) has created a public education website that provides comprehensive information related to maternal and peripartum depression. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) in HRSA has produced a free booklet that describes common concerns of peripartum women and offers guidance (including recommendations and information about other relevant organizations) about how best to deal with the symptoms of depression that may occur during pregnancy. A related website includes the same content with accompanying hyperlinks. Publications include Depression During and After Pregnancy: A Resource for Women, Their Families, and Friends (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2006). HRSA officials have sought to incorporate findings from the 2005 AHRQ report noted above into state-based planning and professional development efforts, through such activities as the DataSpeak web conference series organized by the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center (see, for example, http://mchb.hrsa.gov/mchirc/dataspeak/events/june_05/index.htm).
Healthy Start is another HRSA-funded program that draws on evidence-based interventions in community-based contexts, striving to reduce the infant mortality rate—especially among women who are statistically more likely to have infants die prematurely. Women enrolled in Healthy Start are linked to a medical home from the moment of conception until 2 years postpartum. Health providers routinely screen for signs of perinatal depression and other mental and physical challenges that prenatal women may face.
HRSA and MCHB also support research to explore health service sys-