Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion to launch a new maternal mental health program in the City of El Monte:

“Over the years, we have seen stressors impact a woman’s pregnancy, which then leads to poor outcomes for the new mother and her infant. Nationally, maternal mental health disorders affect one in seven mothers. In Los Angeles County, nearly 30,000 women experience symptoms of depression after pregnancy, according to the LA County Department of Public Health (DPH). Maternal mental health disorders affect up to 26.8 percent of pregnant women and 24.5 percent of postpartum women in the First District. Too many women suffer in silence due to the stigma surrounding maternal mental health disorders.

We must ease that stigma, and help these women receive the care they deserve. To that end, my motion will establish a pilot maternal mental health program to streamline the referral process for new mothers so they could quickly gain access to substance abuse services and mental and medical health care. To accomplish this, LA County Department of Mental Health’s culturally diverse Health Neighborhood’s program will work with DPH, promotoras, and faith-based organizations to establish peer support groups for pregnant and parenting women and their families. Community health workers will also launch a public awareness campaign to educate new mothers on the importance of maternal mental health. In addition, medical providers will receive training to more effectively diagnose maternal mental health disorders.

We must support young mothers and their infants by investing in programs that improve their health. Every mother and child, regardless of race, ethnicity or income, has a right to reach her full potential in life.”

Today’s motion directs pertinent County Departments to develop a linguistically appropriate and culturally sensitive outreach plan and report back to the Board in 90 days.


Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, 213-359-0795, or rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov