Maternal depression can affect any woman. But recent studies show low-income mothers of young children are more likely to suffer from maternal depression than those with higher incomes.
One in 11 low-income mothers with young children reportedly experienced episodes of severe depression in the last year.
Research shows children living with depressed parents are predisposed to developing symptoms of depression and other behavioral and psychiatric problems. Depression is treatable, but low-income mothers are less likely to seek treatment. This puts children of low-income mothers experiencing depression at a disadvantage.
Home visiting services and programs such as Head Start, have been shown to decrease depression by helping to identify mental health concerns, providing family support and resources for medical coverage. Nurse home visits have also proven to be beneficial to the well-being of mother and child’s mental health.
The Coalition implemented the Nurse Family Partnership, an evidence-based home-visiting program executed within the Healthy Start program in Duval County, to provide services to high-risk first time mothers. Nurses from the program visit clients at their home and teach them the necessary parenting skills, tools and knowledge they will need to raise healthy, safe children.