Cutting-Edge Practice

Perinatal Continuum of Care

State/Jurisdiction: Colorado
Setting: Community
Population: Women & Maternal
Topic Area: Access to Quality Healthcare Mental Health & Substance Use

With the person at the center, the Perinatal Continuum of Care tool illustrates the importance of social connections, informal supports and self-care. Mental health and other critical intervention services, including substance use and interpersonal violence, are included. While there is an urgent need for these services, the continuum of care also demonstrates that perinatal mental health is dependent on so much more. Parent and community support, basic needs, and whole-person focused health services are also necessary. The Perinatal Continuum of Care includes a description of each service and support contained within the wheel of support. These descriptions highlight the relevance of the service to perinatal mental health, give examples of how professionals in this service area can promote perinatal mental health, and link to relevant resources. The continuum also includes cross cutting strategies that are applicable across sectors, including awareness and education, policy and advocacy, and integration of behavioral health. These are strategies that can be used within or across service sectors to promote perinatal mental health. In addition to supporting service delivery, the tool can be used to assess opportunities and gaps within the service system, allowing communities to improve their service landscape by understanding where they may need to build the capacity to support perinatal mental health.

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