SACRAMENTO – The California State Assembly passed a maternal mental health care bill authored by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein this week. AB 2360 addresses a shortage of psychiatrists and an increased need for care in women and children by implementing telehealth psychiatry consultation programs into mental health treatment.
AB 2360 will permit providers who screen for mental health disorders in mothers and children to connect with psychiatrists via telehealth video or phone conferencing. This practice will help equip providers with the tools they need to efficiently treat their patients while also increasing the capacity to diagnose and treat mothers and children suffering from mental illness.
“One in five women experience a maternal mental health disorder during pregnancy or within the first year of giving birth. Of those suffering, fewer than fifteen percent of women get the care they need.” said Assemblymember Maienschein. “In addition, children of women who suffered from a mental health disorder are statistically more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder themselves. This bill will help allow more opportunities for women and children to get the mental health care so many of them require and often go without.”
“Mental health has been a priority of mine throughout my career, and the impacts COVID-19 has had on so many make this bill even more important today. Feelings of uncertainty and isolation brought on by the pandemic create an increased risk of maternal mental health disorders, and I am proud that the Assembly has recognized the need of access to care for those struggling,” Maienschein added.
AB 2360 is now on its way to the California State Senate and will be heard in its assigned committee and on the Senate floor.
Assemblymember Maienschein of San Diego represents the 77th Assembly District in the California Legislature.
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