How to Advocate for the New Maternal Mental Health Act
In the US today, one in five pregnant and postpartum women suffer from a maternal mental health disorder, but only 15 percent get the help they need. To help, a new bill titled the TRIUMPH for New Moms Act is heading to Congress this summer.
If passed, the TRIUMPH for New Moms Act will require the US Department of Health and Human Services to create a new federal task force to identify barriers, coordinate resources and build upon programs to improve the well-being of mothers.
The new task force hopes to:
- Improve mental health screening rates to meet mothers where they are, so issues can be addressed sooner
- Integrate state-certified mental health peer support specialists and certified doulas into community-based organization settings
- Combat mental health care disparities faced by mothers of color
- Work with health insurance companies to cover the cost of mental health care
- Enhance federal, tribal, state and community partnerships
“Maternal health outcomes, especially among women of color, are a public health emergency in our country. In combating any public health emergency, we need information, coordination and action,” said Delaware congresswoman and bill cosponsor Lisa Blunt Rochester.
Joy Burkhard, the founder and executive director of maternal mental health advocacy group 2020 Mom, is galvanizing mothers to push for the bill’s passage. She believes the task force will be a step forward in guaranteeing all pregnant and postpartum women have access to standardized, evidence-based maternal mental health care from providers they respect and trust. But Burkhard, 2020 Mom and the bill’s cosponsors need your help.
The TRIUMPH Act is part of the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022—and it’ll be voted on by the House of Representatives this summer. The committee working on a mental health bill package in the Senate will consider the inclusion of the TRIUMPH Act in June before it moves to the full Senate for a vote.
Burkhard encourages people to call or email their legislator’s office to share that maternal mental health should be a priority, and to vote for The TRIUMPH For New Moms Act. You can find your House representative’s and your two federal senators’ contact information by visiting the USA.gov elected officials page.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, know you’re not alone. To find the support you need, reach out to loved ones or call the Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-943-5746 to speak with a trained counselor.