Report: U.S. Counties with the Highest Maternal Mental Health Risk and Lowest Resources Revealed

Nov 29, 2023
  • Description

The risk factors contributing to maternal mental health (MMH) disorders are complex and known to disproportionately impact communities of color, rural communities, and other groups facing systemic inequities. However, until recently, little has been known regarding the geographic county-level distribution of risk nor the available MMH provider resources.

Earlier this year, with financial support from Plum Organics, the Policy Center released the first-of-its kind interactive map to track MMH risk and providers by county. The map uncovered an immense need for increased access to MMH providers and programs.

The report illustrates where, in the U.S., mothers are at the greatest risk for suffering from maternal mental health disorders and where the greatest need for providers are. An estimated 62 million birthing-age, American women, or 96% of the potential perinatal population live in maternal mental health professional shortage areas. 13,885 providers are needed across the United States to fill these shortage gaps.

Report: U.S. Counties with the Highest Maternal Mental Health Risk and Lowest Resources Revealed