Chief Sponsor: Brian Zehnder

House Sponsor: Rebecca Chavez-Houck


9     General Description:
10          This resolution addresses health concerns involving maternal depression and anxiety.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This resolution:
13          ▸     raises awareness about maternal depression and anxiety; and
14          ▸     encourages the state to take action to address this serious public health issue.
15     Special Clauses:
16          None

18     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
19          WHEREAS, maternal depression and anxiety is a serious public health issue in Utah;
20          WHEREAS, maternal depression and anxiety encompass a range of symptoms and
21     mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, and, in extreme
22     cases, psychosis;
23          WHEREAS, at least one in eight new mothers experience maternal depression and
24     anxiety;
25          WHEREAS, maternal depression and anxiety can affect a woman from the beginning of
26     a pregnancy through one year after delivery;
27          WHEREAS, maternal depression and anxiety is the number one complication of

28     childbirth, with incidence rates higher than preterm births, low birth weight babies, and
29     gestational diabetes;
30          WHEREAS, when a mother experiences maternal depression and anxiety, it affects
31     family well-being and stability;
32          WHEREAS, maternal depression and anxiety affect a woman's ability to care for
33     herself and engage in healthy parenting behaviors;
34          WHEREAS, maternal depression and anxiety affects parent-child bonding, increases
35     family conflict, lowers rates of breast feeding, and can lead to less safe home environments for
36     children;
37          WHEREAS, children of affected mothers are at increased risk for serious health,
38     developmental, or behavioral conditions, which can affect the child's overall development and
39     growth;
40          WHEREAS, despite the prevalence and risks, there is a lack of awareness among the
41     public and providers, and many mothers feel reluctant to report symptoms or concerns; and
42          WHEREAS, there are evidence-based, cost-effective screening, detection, and
43     treatment options available for mothers and children, but they are not adequately or
44     consistently applied in Utah:
45          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
46     Governor concurring therein, recognizes maternal depression and anxiety as a serious statewide
47     public health issue.
48          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor commit to
49     addressing maternal depression and anxiety at all levels, from individuals and families to
50     communities, organizations, systems, and state policies.
51          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor encourage the
52     Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, local health departments, and the
53     medical community to develop and utilize evidence-based approaches that:
54          (1) expand provider training, education and support, and a standard of care across
55     practices in perinatal and pediatric settings, including those working with mothers experiencing
56     substance use disorders;
57          (2) screen mothers throughout pregnancy and postpartum, including during their child's
58     well-child visit;

59          (3) increase public awareness and public education of maternal mental health
60     disorders;
61          (4) expand statewide maternal mental health data collection, monitoring, and
62     evaluation, and share information across state agencies, nonprofits, and local authorities
63     through centralized systems;
64          (5) increase support for prevention and peer support models, including home visiting
65     programs, community health workers, and other peer or in-home support models;
66          (6) embed maternal mental health into all statewide crisis response policies; and
67          (7) expand public and private models for prevention and care.
68          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor urge all offices
69     and agencies in the state of Utah whose responsibilities include working with new mothers,
70     families, and children, including the Department of Health, Department of Human Services,
71     and local health authorities, to become informed regarding the short-term and long-term
72     impacts of maternal depression and anxiety so that evidence-based preventive care, early
73     identification, and treatment services are available and accessible statewide for all women, and
74     adverse consequences in children and families can be prevented.
75          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Department
76     of Health, Department of Human Services, and all local health departments.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel