Perinatal diStock_000003267936XSmallepression is one of the most common medical complications women experience during pregnancy and the first 12 months after delivery.  It can affect up to one in seven women and if left untreated and undetected, perinatal depression can be damaging to the growth and healthy development of very young children as well as the health of the mother. Perinatal depression includes major and minor depressive disorders.

In an effort to address this condition, our Bureaus of Women’s and Children’s Health and Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Division of Behavioral Health have collaborated on the development of a new Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD) on-line course for home visitors and WIC staff in an effort to raise awareness and increase screening for depression. The PMAD online course takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete and will be available on the Strong Families AZ website under the professional development section for home visitors and available on the TRAIN LMS system site for WIC staff.

This online course covers the signs, symptoms and screening tools for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.  In addition home visitors will learn about medical risks, social stressors and high-stress parenting situations that can be contributing factors to developing PMAD. The training includes instructions on how to screen for perinatal depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and offers detailed information on best practices for support, client education and referral in both emergency and non-emergency situations. Special thanks to the members of the PMAD Course Development Team who spent many hours developing and reviewing the course.