WIC Guidance for Screening and Referring Women With or at Risk for Depression

Breastfeeding Health and Wellness Postpartum Pregnancy

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.

This guidance is intended to increase WIC staff awareness and knowledge in assisting participants diagnosed with or who are at risk for depression. It identifies focus areas of breastfeeding promotion and support, and nutrition education related to maternal depression, and lists necessary components of a State and/or local agency process to enhance WIC screening and referral services for maternal depression.


Resources for individuals in need of assistance (emergent or otherwise) can be found via the SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, the Mental Health America's Finding Therapy page, and at MentalHealth.gov (including suicide prevention and a veterans’ crisis line).

Also available is a guide to help families who have a loved one who is suicidal or has made a suicide attempt. It provides information on understanding suicide, warning signs and action steps to take, and how to prevent future attempts and keep your loved one safe.

Mom looking out the window
Developed by: HHS, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
USDA, Food and Nutrition Service
Publication date: May 2015