Attention! Tustin Hangar ResourceClick Here

California's 40th District

Mar 16, 2022 | In The News

Several Republicans this week introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill that aims to improve outcomes for the screening and treatment of maternal mental health and substance use disorders.

“I’m proud to join this bipartisan, bicameral effort to provide cost-effective, targeted investments that build on the success of existing mental health programs to help moms that need it most. When mom and baby thrive, so do our communities,” said U.S. Rep. Young Kim (R-CA).

The congresswoman on March 15 signed on as an original cosponsor of the Into the Light for Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Act of 2022, H.R. 7073, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA). The bill would reauthorize and improve Maternal Mental Health Screening and Treatment grants, permit states to create and improve programs tailored for maternal health and substance use disorders, and establish a permanent national 24/7 voice and text maternal mental health and substance use hotline monitored by trained professionals, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.  

Among the four other original cosponsors who joined Rep. Kim in introducing H.R. 7073 are U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Michael Burgess (R-TX). Companion legislation, S. 3824, was introduced on March 14 by U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). 

“It’s staggering to know that about 800,000 new moms in the U.S. each year experience a maternity-related mental health issue,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler, co-founder of the bipartisan Maternity Care Caucus. “I’m pleased to support this critical legislation, which will… further enhance access to mental health resources and screenings for moms across the country.” 

“It is important that we establish simple steps to ensure mothers are able to receive not only the physical health care they need, but also mental health care,” added Rep. Burgess, a practicing medical doctor for more than 30 years. “This legislation will help provide solutions and access to mental health resources for mothers who are facing postpartum depression.”

Sen. Murkowski pointed out that mothers “deserve our support when it comes to mental health.”

“While pregnancy is one of the great blessings in life, many women struggle during pregnancy and postpartum can lead to significant challenges both mentally and physically,” Sen. Murkowski said, adding that the bill “is focused on supporting mothers” so that they, in turn, may “better support their babies.”

“Pregnancy and new motherhood can be wonderful and exciting times in a woman’s life, however they can also be stressful and demanding, resulting in both physical and mental challenges,” Sen. Capito said. “I am hopeful that by providing an immediate place to turn with the maternal mental health hotline and providing the resources for state programs to identify and treat these issues, better outcomes for both mothers and their babies can be realized.”

The Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance and more than 120 other organizations endorsed the bill.

The Ripon Advance

Signup to receive our Email Newsletters

The Latest News