Mental Health & Depression
The mental health of each family member affects the entire family. Nearly one in five adults in America live with a mental illness. Of those living with mental illness, 6.9 percent or 16 million adults are living with depression and 18.1 percent or 42 million adults are living with anxiety. One in seven women suffers from postpartum depression, the most common complication after childbirth, and it is estimated that up to 23 percent of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy. There are a range of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders that affect almost all mothers.
Data show that between up to 25 percent of fathers experience PPD, a prevalence that increases up to 50 percent if the mother is also depressed. While mental health is closely linked to income, it is pervasive regardless of race or ethnicity. Family food insecurity predicts high levels of children’s mental health symptoms, particularly hyperactivity/inattention. Addressing food insecurity and associated problems in families could help reduce the burden of mental health problems in children and reduce social inequalities in development.
Poor nutrition and food insecurity are associated with poorer physical and mental health in all age groups, but in young children they can deeply affect well-being and development in ways that can endure for a lifetime. Even babies’ mental health matters. See our new section on Children’s Mental Wellness at the bottom of this page.
Although mental health services can be effective, significant barriers — including access to care, fear of the stigma associated with care, and lack of insurance — prevent many from seeking services. Research indicates that many children in need of mental health services don’t get treatment or suffer for years before being diagnosed. WIC Can Help families get the support they need. Better yet, WIC supports families in ways that can often prevent mental health problems from an early age.
What Local Agencies Can Do:
1.Get to know the tools and information on this page.
2.Print out those resources you feel will best serve the staff and participants at your agency.
3.Take every opportunity to promote mental wellness and mental health care.
4.Provide information and refer participants to services when needed.
5.Assure participants that seeking help is the best way to care for themselves and their families.
Suicide Prevention Resources
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Red Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio 1-888-628-9454
Perinatal Depression Resources
- NEW! Resources and Infographics with information on Maternal Mental Health: Posters provided with supporting statistics and symptoms, as well as ways to help fight stigmas that weigh on new mothers and families. (Blue Dot Project, 2018)
- NEW! Perinatal Mental Health Summary: 2-page reference guide to better understand disorder, onset, symptoms, and treatment. (Contra Costa County: Perinatal Depression to Wellness Network, Health Department, and WIC)
- NEW! A Guide to Help New Mothers Identify Baby Blues, Depression, Anxiety, or Psychosis(Contra Costa WIC)
- NEW! Postpartum Depression, How It’s Different From the Baby Blues (Fatherly, 2018)
- NEW! Symptoms and Diagnosis: Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can manifest itself in many ways and can occur anytime from conception through two years after delivery. (LA County Maternal Mental Health Now)
- NEW! Can Fathers Have Postpartum Depression: A comprehensive article linked to resources and studies. (NYT, 2017)
- Supporting Maternal Mental Health In Public Health Nutrition Practice (ASPHN, 2017)
- Depression in Mothers: More Than the Blues – A Tool Kit for Family Service Providers (SAMHSA)
- Moms’ Mental Health Matters: online resource for moms, partners, & professionals. (National Child and Maternal Health Education Program/NIH)
- Postpartum Support International: 1-800-944-4PPD (4473) Telephone support warm line. Will call back within 24 hours. (Press 1 for Spanish). Also, info on support groups.
- NEW! Postpartum Men: Online resources for Men with baby blues and depression.
- Postpartum Dads: Online support for men whose partners suffer from perinatal depression.
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): education about perinatal depression for women, families, and providers, including patient brochures in English and Spanish and a provider search directory.
Mental Health Support Resources
- Local County Mental Health 24-Hour Crisis Intervention Numbers
- NEW! Emotional Wellness Toolkit: 6 Strategies for Improving Your Mental Health
- Help Yourself, Help Others provides an online mental health self-screening tool
- Live Your Life Well offers “ten tools to help you feel stronger and more hopeful,” a depression self-screening tool, and a quiz on stress.
- Bright Futures Guides to Emotional Wellness: free resources to help women achieve mental wellness with research and information on coping skills, self-appreciation, finding balance and purpose, and connecting with others. Scroll down to find specific editions for women and teens/young women (both in English and Spanish), health professionals, and community organizations.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): mental health services, addiction treatment, prevention, statistics and data, workplace resources, legislative information, and policy issues, online and by phone:
1-877-726-4727 (English or Spanish)
- Behavioral Health Treatment Locator: find treatment facilities by zip code or city for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems.
- Mental Health Challenges & Advice for College Students
- NEW! Mental Health and Teens: Tips for Parents
- NEW! Mental Health Resources for Adolescents and Young Adults
- Mental Health First Aid training helps communities better understand mental illness and respond to psychiatric emergencies.
- NEW! Bipolar Disorder: NIMH provides a comprehensive overview of bipolar disorder as a critical starting point for individuals and/or their loved ones, with an overview of signs and symptom, risk factors, treatments and therapies.
Children’s Mental Wellness
- NEW! Children’s Mental Health Matters: What parents, teachers, and others can do with a comprehensive fact sheet.
- NEW! California’s Children and Youths’ System of Care: An Agenda to Transform Promises into Practice
- NEW! Children and Mental Health: Is this just a stage? (NIMH)
- Tratamiento de Niños con Enfermedades Mentales (Instituto Nacional de Salud Mental)
HEALTHY FAMILIES...STRONG COMMUNITIES...BRIGHT FUTURES!
CALIFORNIA WIC ASSOCIATION | 3960 INDUSTRIAL BLVD, SUITE 500 WEST SACRAMENTO, CA 95691 | PHONE: 916-572-0700