CLASP's mental health work advances systems and policy change with an explicit focus on how a person's race and ethnicity affects how they interact with the health system. Without a direct understanding of how mental health and wellbeing are seen by those who are living in poverty, we cannot create effective policy solutions.
Youth and maternal mental health are critical targets for systems and policy change. Between 2018 and 2020, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) engaged state and local leaders in technical assistance initiatives targeting mental health systems and policy change in several jurisdictions.
This brief offers a variety of strategies that policymakers and advocates can use to advance racial equity in maternal mental health. It offers many effective models from communities across the country. While many of these success stories are about broad health issues, they contain lessons that can be applied to maternal mental health policy.
Mental health is a huge part of individual wellbeing. Systemic barriers like racism and stigma have blocked many people with low incomes and people of color from high-quality mental health care. Unaddressed mental health challenges undermine their ability to learn, work, and thrive. That’s why CLASP’s work in this area has dramatically deepened.
The discussion of our maternal mortality crisis is often focused on physical causes of death. But mental health is important, too. The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act is a good step toward learning more about, and preventing, maternal deaths.
This is an overview of our Moving on Maternal Depression (MOMD) initiative. Through MOMD, CLASP is collaborating with states to advance policies that improve maternal depression prevention, screening, and treatment among mothers with young children.
Three million Americans living in poverty are either a mother who has experienced depression or a young adult who has experienced serious psychological distress. Untreated mental health needs have significant consequences for mothers and young adults as well as their families.