Online and downloadable versions
While diagnosing and treating depression are outside of WIC's scope, WIC’s nutrition assessment process and referral services lend themselves well to identifying and linking women with or at risk of depression to appropriate services.
As noted in WIC Guidance for Screening and Referring Women With or at Risk for Depression, there are simple and effective screening tools that can be incorporated into the WIC nutrition assessment process. Examples of highly sensitive screening tools noted in this guidance include the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (permission required to copy), Postpartum Depression Screening Scale, and Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ).
*These tools are self-administered versions, and are not diagnostic tests. WIC staff may use them to help identify women who may need referrals for appropriate services. Only direct, personal interaction with a mental health professional can provide an accurate assessment of symptoms.
Resources for Individuals in Need of Assistance (emergent or otherwise)
- National Maternal Mental Health Hotline (1-833-943-5747 – available 24/7 in English and Spanish)
- SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
- Mental Health America's Finding Therapy
- MentalHealth.gov (offers resources for current and former service members and their families as well as suicide prevention and a hotline (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) available 24/7 with trained crisis workers. This number will change to 988 as of July 16, 2022.)
- Helping Your Loved One Who is Suicidal: A Guide for Family and Friends (provides information on understanding suicide, warning signs and action steps to take, and how to prevent future attempts and keep your loved one safe.)