12,000 people used a national maternal mental health hotline in its first year
A national mental health hotline aimed at new and expecting parents received was accessed by about 12,000 people in its first 11 months, according to recently released government data.
Driving the news: The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline was launched on Mother's Day last year as part of the Biden administration's efforts to address and improve maternal health in the U.S.
By the numbers: The federally funded hotline received an average of 1,000 calls and texts per month between May 2022 and the end of March, per data from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
- Of the contacts, 70% were by phone and 30% were by text.
- Among those contacting the hotline, 76% said they were calling for themselves, while 5% were calling for another person, such as a family member or friend. Another 5% of callers were providers, while 14% were categorized as "other."
- Among those calling for themselves, 38% were postpartum while 19% were pregnant. 42% did not report to the counselor whether they fell into either category.
- Callers identified a number of reasons for contacting the hotline, including anxiety, depression, feeling overwhelmed, issues faced in pregnancy, and relationship conflict.
- NBC first reported on the data.
The big picture: The U.S. faces higher maternal mortality rates than other developed countries, according to the Commonwealth Fund.
- The U.S. maternal mortality rates disproportionally affect Black and Native American women compared to white women.
- On the whole, 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable, with mental health conditions being one of the underlying causes, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- According to Postpartum Support International, 6% of pregnant women and 10% of postpartum women develop anxiety while postpartum psychosis occurs in 1 or 2 out of every 1,000 births.