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Periscope Project celebrates maternal mental health awareness by hosting conference

The Periscope Project hosted a one-day conference "Building Capacity to Address Maternal Mental Health Conditions" on Friday, May 3, 2019. Held during national Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, the conference focused on building capacity in non-psychiatric providers to diagnosis and treat perinatal mental health disorders.

Maternal mental health disorders are the most common complication of childbirth, yet less than 15% of women diagnosed will receive treatment. The Periscope Project is designed to promote women’s mental health by supporting front-line providers to effectively manage and coordinate care for their perinatal patients with depression and related behavioral health disorders. This method allows for more women to be impacted by educating and supporting providers who then apply the information learned from the program to multiple patients within their practice.

The conference session topics were selected based on feedback received from providers enrolled in The Periscope Project. The keynote presentations focused on opioid use disorder treatment in perinatal patients. Breakout sessions offered a range of topics to meet the needs of diverse provider types and base knowledge from psychopharmacology, to non-pharmacologic treatment options, to how to talk to women about their mental health. The conference was offered as a benefit for enrolled providers to build their capacity to treat the behavioral health concerns of women who are pre-conception, pregnant, postpartum and inter-conception. Over 100 people attended the conference; immediate feedback post-conference was overwhelmingly positive.

One attendee commented that her take-away message was to ‘work as a team to treat patients and be the best professional person I can to help my patients. Don’t give up on patients."

The Periscope Project is a program of the Medical College of Wisconsin – department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine made possible through the financial support of United Health Foundation for program launch.