May: Mental Health Awareness Month
Did you know that roughly 1 in 5 of all people living in the United States is suffering from a mental health disorder? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, that is a staggering 52.9 million Americans (from 2020 data). Unfortunately the trends are not looking favorable. For the 2022 mental health awareness month, I wanted to share a little more information about women’s mental health and perinatal mental health specifically.
When looking at all types of mental illness, women are disproportionally affected more than men (25.8% vs 15.8%).
People of reproductive age (18-49 years) have significantly higher prevalence (55.9%) of mental illness compared to adults 50years+ (14.5%)
1 in 5 birthing parents (and strikingly 1 in 3 birthing parents of color) will suffer from a postpartum mood and/or anxiety disorder within 1 year after delivery (as compared to 1 in 10 in men)
Pregnant women had significantly higher rates of depressive symptoms after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to before
There is also a disturbing trend of increasing rates of suicidality (nearly 3x) in the past decade
Unacceptable racial/ethnic disparities exist in pregnancy-associated suicide death, with American Indian/Alaska Native women at far greater risk
It is very likely that you or someone you know is affected by mental illness. There is hope for healing. Get involved today, break the stigma, join the movement together for mental health (#together4MH), and be well.
Check out the NAMI campaign for mental health awareness month here.
Find additional resources here.
Chin, K., Wendt, A., Bennett, I. and Bhat, A., 2022. Suicide and Maternal Mortality. Current Psychiatry Reports, 24(4), pp.239-275.
Mangla, K., Hoffman, M., Trumpff, C., O’Grady, S. and Monk, C., 2019. Maternal self-harm deaths: an unrecognized and preventable outcome. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 221(4), pp.295-303.
Margerison, C., Roberts, M., Gemmill, A. and Goldman-Mellor, S., 2022. Pregnancy-Associated Deaths Due to Drugs, Suicide, and Homicide in the United States, 2010–2019. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 139(2), pp.172-180.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). 2022. Mental Illness. [online] Available at: <https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness> [Accessed 1 May 2022]