Research shows that mental health conditions are the most common complication during the perinatal period, often defined as one year before to a year or two after the birth of a child. One in five people will experience a mental health condition during this time, and people of color, those with lower incomes and LGBTQ individuals are disproportionately affected.
Mental and behavioral health conditions are also a leading cause of maternal mortality in the U.S. In Arizona, nearly half of all pregnancy-associated deaths are due to mental health or substance use issues, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, and an estimated 98% of those deaths are preventable.
Kalia and Dr. Kathryn Emerick, also a perinatal psychiatrist at the University of Arizona, are teaming up to address the problem.