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Prioritizing Mental Health: Why May is More Than Just Another Month on the Calendar

May is Mental Health Month, an important time to raise awareness about issues regarding mental health issues. Region 6 Perinatal Quality Collaborative (RPQCs) are key drivers of the Mother Infant Heath & Equity Improvement Plan (MIHEIP). R6 includes Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Tuscola, St. Clair and Shiawassee counties. We are actively working together as a region to address health equity, disparate outcomes and unconscious bias and stigma.

During this month, we hope to connect you to more resources for prenatal mental health care, as pregnant individuals face unique challenges and risks when it comes to their mental health. Pregnancy can take a toll on mental well-being due to hormonal changes, physical discomfort, and the stress of preparing for a new baby can all contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. Furthermore, pregnancy can also exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions.

Pregnancy can trigger the onset of mental health disorders, therefore it us essential that pregnant individuals receive adequate support for their mental health needs by continuing prenatal visits and screenings. One of the most important things pregnant individuals can do to support their mental health is to prioritize self-care. Some self-care practices might include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and practicing stress-reducing activities like meditation or yoga. It can feel overwhelming trying to achieve all of these goals at once, so it may be helpful to focus on one goal at a time. Slowly introducing self-care techniques will likely lead to better success. It's also crucial that pregnant individuals have access to mental health professionals who can provide support and treatment as needed. This might include therapy, medication, or other interventions depending on the individual's needs.

It is also important for the general population to recognize the importance of mental health during pregnancy. This means continuing to break down stigma surrounding mental health and providing support and resources to pregnant individuals who may be struggling with mental health concerns. Below are a few resources that may be helpful for pregnant individuals in Michigan and beyond:

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