Depressive and anxiety disorders affect women twice as frequently as men. Women are at highest risk for a depressive disorder during their childbearing years. Known risk factors among women include low-income, single marital status, adolescent parenting, and social isolation. Although racial and ethnic minority status, per se, do not increase risk of major depressive disorder, poverty mediates risk of depression leading to high rates of mood disorders in ethnic minority women. Despite their elevated risk for depression, low-income, minority women are less likely to obtain mental health care in either the primary or specialty setting, and less likely to receive appropriate care when they do seek it. Social connections and social support are critical to the mental health of new mothers. However, few interventions have been developed to target social connectedness on a communitywide-level. We propose to promote community-wide maternal mental health through the creation of a web-based social networking application. A sample of mothers residing in New Haven, Connecticut and delivering a baby at Yale-New Haven Hospital will be provided with a web-enabled phone (or "smartphone"), internet connectivity, access to our web-based community, Momba, and training on how to use it. In years 2 through 3 of the grant period we will randomize women to receive the web-based intervention. A community health worker, termed "Community Mental Health Ambassador," will provide training for mothers on how to use the web-based application. To accomplish our aims we have assembled a team of scientists, industry-leaders, and community members to advance not only the science and research, but also the learning and dissemination of information derived from the web-based platform for new mothers. We will manualize and distribute our training curriculum for Community Mental Health Ambassadors for use by communities across the country and internationally. This curriculum will allow communities to train mothers and other outreach and professional staff on the use of technology for the promotion of mental health.

Public Health Relevance

Depressive and anxiety disorders affect women twice as frequently as men and women are at highest risk for a depressive disorder during their childbearing years. Known risk factors among women include low-income, single marital status, adolescent parenting, and social isolation. However, few interventions have been developed to target social connectedness on a communitywide-level, which is why we propose to promote community-wide maternal mental health through the creation of a social networking application for new mothers termed, Momba.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Planning Grant (R34)
Project #
1R34MH100456-01
Application #
8495590
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-I (01))
Program Officer
Azrin, Susan
Project Start
2013-04-15
Project End
2016-03-31
Budget Start
2013-04-15
Budget End
2014-03-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$207,969
Indirect Cost
$82,969
Name
Yale University
Department
Psychiatry
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
043207562
City
New Haven
State
CT
Country
United States
Zip Code
06520