Dr. Flynn receives $3.25M grant to improve maternal mental health outcomes

photo of Dr. Heather Flynn

A new grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration aims to improve maternal mental health outcomes by increasing screening rates and patient access to treatment and resources.  For the next five years, Dr. Flynn will work with the FDOH and Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative to improve perinatal depression detection, treatment, engagement and outcomes.

About 15 percent of all mothers in Florida report experiencing depression during pregnancy or after childbirth, but fewer than 20 percent of mothers seek or have access to professional help. Much of the problem lies in the lack of routine screening by prenatal care providers.  According to Dr. Flynn, “Florida has the third largest birth rate in the nation, so this can have a tremendous impact on maternal mental health outcomes in the U.S.  The number of women who never get detected or treated during a pregnancy is striking given that the majority of them will see a doctor at some point during their prenatal care.”

FSU researcher improving maternal mental health outcomes in Florida