Perinatal Mental Health

VCHIP’s Perinatal Quality Collaborative engages in focused work to improve mental health outcomes during the perinatal period. This work includes data analysis to provide a comprehensive assessment of mental health and substance use among the preconception and perinatal population to understand prevalence, diagnoses, treatment, access, and barriers to care. Of primary importance is identifying barriers to obtaining treatment for mental health and substance use and other populations at risk across Vermont. Additional efforts aim to improve access to perinatal mental health services for refugee women living in Vermont and support a Perinatal Psychiatric Consultation Service to provide provider-to-provider telephone consultation to support mental health care for pregnant, pre-conception, and/or postpartum patients. VCHIP was also a key partner to the state of Vermont on a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) funded Screening, Treatment and Access for Mother and Perinatal Partners (STAMPP) initiative from September 2019 to September 2023.  VCHIP worked with the Vermont Department of Health to facilitate medical provider and community partner education about perinatal depression and anxiety, and shared learning of innovative community strategies that promote family well-being for pregnant and postpartum people by champions across the state.

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Goals &

VCHIP’s work in perinatal mental health aims to use data analysis, practice improvement, provider education, community engagement, and peer support to advance systems of care for pregnant people and their families.

Recent achievements include:

  • Engaged practices to implement or improve antepartum and postpartum depression and anxiety screening as part of statewide STAMPP efforts.
  • Facilitated an ECHO learning series and additional education about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) as well as other topics impacting pregnant and parenting peoples’ and family well-being.
  • Conducted two comprehensive qualitative evaluations related to perinatal mental health care services delivery.
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  • Perinatal Psychiatric Consultation Service: Free consultations are available for medical providers, more details here.
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The Wellness Support video addresses Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) for Maay Maay speaking families and pregnant people living in Vermont. This short video can be used by health care professionals serving Maay Maay speaking families. The video is 7-minutes long.

Click here to read Vermont’s newest issue brief with Mathematica Inc., Cost Savings from Expanding Vermont’s Perinatal Psychiatric Consultation Service.

View provider resources and educational materials here

Project Team

Breena Holmes, MD, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics

Carole McBride, PhD, Assistant Professor and Faculty Scientist, Research of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Sarah Guth, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Julie Parent, MSW, Project Director

Heidi Considine, Project Director

Avery Rasmussen, MPH, Data Manager

Angela Zinno, MA, Project Coordinator

Vermont Department of Health

Ilisa Stalberg, MSS, MLSP, Family and Child Health Director

Katy Leffel, RN, BSN, IBCLC, Perinatal Nurse Coordinator

Laura Pentenrieder, MPH, Program Manager

Kathryn Wolfe, LICSW, Public Health Specialist

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