Building Better Programs

Linking Depressed Mothers to Effective Services and Supports: A Policy and Systems Agenda to Enhance Children’s Development and Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

Identifying and treating low-income mothers suffering from depression is of critical importance for both mother and child and represents a major public health opportunity. Untreated depression in mothers can jeopardize young children’s safety, learning, and emotional development and adversely affect their long-term mental and physical health. A roundtable of policy experts, researchers, policymakers, advocates and philanthropists identified high payoff opportunities for systems and policy change. Some of the features of a network of services would include: oriented to the family, grounded in and respectful of natural supports within families and communities; characterized by many opportunities to access services and a focus on effective, evidence-based interventions and well-trained staff in each service system.

Urban Institute – Linking Depressed Mothers to Effective Services and Supports