Policy Options to Advance Mental Health Care During Pregnancy

This briefing examined the difference between perinatal health and perinatal mental health and their intrinsic relationship. Panelists dove into factors contributing to perinatal health and mental health as well as policy levers and promising solutions available to stakeholders to reduce and prevent mental health symptoms and mood disorders. Attendees learned about the existing policy levers and recent legislation, their promise, and tradeoffs in reducing mental health symptoms and harm among expecting parents.

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) offered opening remarks and discussed the importance of perinatal mental health and why it is of top priority for their constituents.


  • Joy Burkhard, MBA, Executive Director, 2020 Mom
  • Veronica Gillispie-Bell, M.D., Senior Site Lead/Section Head, Women’s Services, Ochsner Kenner and Medical Director, Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative and Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review
  • Carrie Hanlon, MA, Project Director, National Academy for State Health Policy
  • Kay Matthews, Founder, Shades of Blue
  • Sarah J. Dash, MPH, President and CEO, Alliance for Health Policy (moderator)