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Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Increasing Awareness Can Help

As noted in the Guidance for Screening and Referring Women with or At Risk for Depression, WIC-eligible pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum individuals may be more vulnerable to the onset of depression or have an increase in the severity of their mental illness. While depression during and after pregnancy is common and treatable, mental health remains a sensitive topic, and despite advances in health equity, disparities in mental health care persist, with racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. being less likely to have access to mental health services.
 

Racial/ethnic data collected as part of the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics (PC) 2020 indicate that approximately 41% of WIC participants identify as being part of a racial and/or ethnic minority.


While diagnosing and treating mental illness are outside of WIC's scope, WIC’s nutrition assessment process and referral services lend themselves well to identifying and linking at risk pregnant and post-partum women to appropriate services.

 

How WIC Can Help

Increase Awareness

 

Take Action

 

Additional Mental Health Resources

WIC Works Resource System

 

WIC Breastfeeding Support

 

Resources for Individuals in Need of Assistance (emergent or otherwise)

 

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support via phone or text for people in distress. This shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services. There is also a web chat available 24/7.

Prevention and crisis resources, including posters and a magnet (available in Spanish), wallet cards, and safety plan pads, are available for professionals to download or order.

 

Looking for more information? Check out these mental health-related resources found on WIC Works.

 

Updated: May 2023

Developed by
Joint Commission
Mental Health America
U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau
HHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
HHS, Office of Minority Health
HHS, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration