Maternal depression is a widespread public health concern that has been linked to negative impacts on child development and health outcomes. Within home visiting programs serving low-income women, maternal depression rates have been measured as high as 61 percent. Home visitors are uniquely positioned to help address maternal depression and can play an important role in conducting screenings and providing referrals to community resources. This brief summarizes the existing research to illustrate the importance of addressing maternal depression in home visiting programs, and outlines three promising approaches.
This brief was developed for the National Home Visiting Resource Center and is available on its website. The NHVRC is led by James Bell Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute. Support is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.