LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech University Health Science Center was selected as one of the four pilot sites for the Perinatal Psychiatric Access Network (PeriPAN).

According to the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance, “Maternal mental health conditions are the most common complications of pregnancy”, reported the press release. 

The release stated that there was a statewide initiative to address the mental health needs of pregnant and postpartum women in Texas.

Maternal mental health conditions affect 1 in 5 women. 

”Most frontline healthcare providers do not always have the training, knowledge… to discuss and screen for maternal mental health conditions”, said the article.

Texas Tech University Health Science Center Sarah Mallard Wakerfield, M.D., TTUHSC chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and medical director for the pilot program, stated that, “maternal mortality rate for Texas women is higher than the U.S average and overall has grown.”

The concern was that women had a higher chance of dying after delivery.

To better help postpartum moms, the program PeriPAN provided training and education to psychiatrists, primary care providers, obstetricians, and midwives on perinatal mental health services. 

”I applaud Texas and the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium for this monumental effort”, said Wakerfield. Improving care for women is “ necessary for the health of our future generations”.