New York City health officials on Tuesday set a goal of screening every expectant woman and new mother for maternal depression, selecting a Boro Park hospital to host a two-year pilot program.
First lady Chirlane McCray said Maimonides Medical Center and NYC Health and Hospitals were chosen since they deliver more than a quarter of all babies born in the city every year.
McCray, who has dedicated herself to improving mental health services, said that too many new mothers don’t get the attention they should and that they’re afraid to seek help “because they worry about being judged.”
“If they need help, we aim to connect all of them to ongoing care,” she said. “This effort will begin with, Maimonides Medical Center and the Greater New York Hospitals Association.”
At least one in 10 new mothers suffers from depression. It is treatable and can be prevented with counseling.
As of October, New York Medicaid will reimburse physicians for screening expectant women for depression.