Launched, appropriately enough, on Mother’s Day, the toll-free hotline provides counseling to expecting and new moms who are experiencing mental health issues
On Mother’s Day, fittingly, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched the Maternal Mental Health Hotline—a confidential, toll-free hotline for expecting and new moms experiencing mental health challenges. With an initial $3 million investment, the hotline has counselors available to provide mental health support.
“The Biden-Harris administration has a bold vision for changing the way we address, treat and integrate mental health—both in and out of healthcare settings,” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said when the hotline was announced on May 6. “This new Maternal Mental Health Hotline will not only advance our priorities of tackling the nation’s mental health crisis, but also support our efforts to ensure healthy pregnancies and support new parents.”
The announcement, made during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week and Mental Health Awareness Month, supports President Biden’s whole-of-government strategy to transform mental health services for all Americans—a key part of his Unity Agenda. Following the President’s State of the Union in March, Secretary Becerra kicked off the HHS National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health to address the mental health challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including substance use, youth mental health, and suicide.
What the Maternal Mental Health Hotline Offers
Those who contact the hotline can receive a range of support services, including brief interventions from trained counselors who are culturally and trauma-informed, as well as referrals to both community-based and telehealth providers as needed. Callers also will receive evidence-based information and referrals to support groups and other community resources.
“Moms can call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS [1-833-943-5746] and connect with a counselor at no charge. We are going to continue to grow our investments in this resource, as we know it’s what women need.”—Carole Johnson, HRSA Administrator
“Today, we are creating a safe space for expecting and new moms who are experiencing maternal depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns to have confidential conversations and get the support they need,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Moms can call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS [1-833-943-5746] and connect with a counselor at no charge. We are going to continue to grow our investments in this resource, as we know it’s what women need.”
The hotline is accessible by phone or text and in English and Spanish. TTY users can use a preferred relay service or dial 711 and then 1-833-943-5746.
The Maternal Mental Health Hotline is not intended as an emergency response line. Individuals in behavioral health crisis should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Photo: Kevin Liang