Perinatal Mental Health Learning Community Program Update

Quality Quarterly Article

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders continue to be the most common complication of childbirth. HQI’s Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Learning Community seeks to strengthen hospital approaches to perinatal mental health through specially tailored learning and peer-exchange opportunities, which include webinars, group office hours, individual coaching, and online training and educational resources. These are all available to California hospitals free of charge, courtesy of a grant from the California Health Care Foundation. 

A 55-minute online training course for hospital staff has been developed specifically for this program and can be accessed via the program website and the “Online Resources for Hospitals” tab.  Over 800 individuals have already enrolled. Upon completion, users can receive BRN CE credit (one hour) with a downloadable certificate. 

Programming in the PMH Learning Community is designed to help participating hospitals comply with a California law (Assembly Bill 3032, 2018), which requires hospitals to educate perinatal employees about maternal mental health conditions, and inform postpartum women and families about the signs and symptoms of maternal mental health disorders, local post-hospital treatment options, and resources.   

The heart of the matter goes beyond the legal mandate, however, as many participating hospitals are already embracing the opportunity to educate their staff, screen women before discharge from their childbirth hospital stay, and offer comprehensive resources for help, when needed. As befits a true learning community, those further down the path are providing examples and advice to the others.  The  “Peer Sharing” tab on the program website offers various materials shared by hospitals with the learning community. 

While 140 California birthing hospitals have already joined HQI’s PMH Learning Community, enrollment remains open to others. To check if your hospital has enrolled, go to the program website, then click on the “Participating Hospitals” tab.  Hospitals can join by clicking the “Enroll” tab.  

Our HQI team continues to be deeply moved, impressed, and empowered by the experiences shared by our participating hospitals, by their work to improve perinatal mental health support, and by the subject matter expertise of our partners and stakeholders. Programming will continue until Dec. 31, 2021. 

For questions, please contact Julia Slininger, PMH Learning Community program manager, at jslininger@hqinstitute.org