Fund postpartum psychosis research

Prevention, Early Intervention, & Youth
Research & Technology
social determinants of health
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Federal department
Health and Human Services
house committees
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The National Institute of Mental Health should fund research on the causes and potential treatments for postpartum psychosis, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) should convene relevant clinical specialty associations to create screening and treatment guidelines.


Postpartum psychosis is perhaps the least understood of perinatal psychiatric disorders. It affects 1-2 per 1,000 women and constitutes a true psychiatric emergency that requires hospitalization and intensive treatment.[1] Postpartum psychosis is underdiagnosed and underreported by primary care providers, obstetricians, and psychiatrists, because, like many perinatal psychiatric conditions, there is no standard screening procedure in place during the prenatal and postnatal periods. The Edinburgh postnatal depression scale and the Mood Disorder Questionnaire have been found to be effective screening tools to identify signs of depression and mania in populations at risk.[2] However, insufficient research on postpartum depression and the lack of treatment guidelines mean far too many women cannot access needed care.[3] To address these barriers, the National Institute of Mental Health should prioritize and fund research relating to postpartum psychosis, and SAMHSA should convene the relevant clinical specialty association to urge them to create treatment guidelines.


1. Osborne, Lauren M. 2018. “Recognizing and Managing Postpartum Psychosis: A Clinical Guide for Obstetric Providers.” Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America 45 (3): 455–68. Last Updated 2018.

2.  Sit, Dorothy, Anthony J. Rothschild, and Katherine L. Wisner. 2006. “A Review of Postpartum Psychosis.” Journal of Women’s Health 15 (4): 352–68. Last Updated 2006.

3. Winter, Jessica. 2023. “What We Still Don’t Understand About Postpartum Psychosis.” The New Yorker. Last Accessed March 14, 2023.