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Black Perinatal Mental Health: Current Evidence, Gaps, and the Road to Equity
Funding for the Striving for Excellence Series was made possible by Grant No. H79FG000591 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by SAMHSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.


This talk will describe mental illness during pregnancy and postpartum in Black perinatal people. The available evidence on prevalence, characteristics, and experience of mental illness will be described especially as it relates to pregnancy and neonatal outcomes and risks for long-term sequelae. Risk factors including those related to social determinants of health will be explained. Gaps in understanding of perinatal mental health and the Black experience will be addressed in addition to proposing future directions for research. 


Recorded webinar.

Learning Objectives 

  • Describe the disparities in prevalence of mental illness among Black birthing people and the associated gaps in understanding prevalence and experience. 
  • Describe evidence for characteristic differences in symptom presentation and identification of illness through screening for perinatal mental illness in Black birthing people. 
  • Explain known risk factors and the impact of structural and social determinants of health on the onset and recurrence of Black perinatal mental illness. 
  • Understand perinatal mental illness and the relation to pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.
  • Describe ways to optimize perinatal and infant wellness for Black birthing people including evidence of available psychiatry access programs and established perinatal mental health treatments. 

Target Audience 



  1. Conteh N, Gagliardi J, McGahee S, Molina R, Clark CT, Clare CA. Medical Mistrust in Perinatal Mental Health. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2022 Jul-Aug 01;30(4):238-247. PMID: 35849741.
  2. Deichen Hansen ME, Londoño Tobón A, Kamal Haider U, Moore Simas TA, Newsome M, Finelli J, Boama-Nyarko E, Mittal L, Tabb KM, Nápoles AM, Schaefer AJ, Davis WN, Mackie TI, Flynn HA, Byatt N. The role of perinatal psychiatry access programs in advancing mental health equity. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2023 May-Jun;82:75-85.  Epub 2023 Mar 12. PMID: 36989766.
  3. Estriplet T, Morgan I, Davis K, Crear Perry J, Matthews K. Black Perinatal Mental Health: Prioritizing Maternal Mental Health to Optimize Infant Health and Wellness. Front Psychiatry. 2022 Apr 29;13:807235. PMID: 35573337; PMCID: PMC9098970.
  4. Sroka AW, Mbayiwa K, Ilyumzhinova R, Meyer W, Fowle J, Gipson CJ, Norcott C, Hipwell AE, Keenan K. Depression screening may not capture significant sources of prenatal stress for Black women. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2023 Apr;26(2):211-217. Epub 2023 Feb 17. PMID: 36797547

Instructional Level 


Estimate Time to Complete 

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hour 
Program Start Date: September 21, 2023
Program End Date: September 21, 2026

How to Earn Credit 

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or a certificate of participation may do so by viewing the live presentation and completing the evaluation. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (other disciplines) showing the event date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit 

In support of improving patient care, the American Psychiatric Association is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.  


The APA designates this live event for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

Faculty and Planner Disclosures 

The American Psychiatric Association adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CME activity — including faculty, planners, reviewers or others — are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity. 


  • Crystal Clarke, MD. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 


  • Crystal Clarke, MD. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

 Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities 

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. Please contact the American Psychiatric Association at 202-559-3900, if you require assistance seven (7) business days prior to the start of a live webinar. 

Technical Requirements 

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following: 

  • The latest and 2nd latest public versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari 
  • Internet Explorer 11+ 

This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player. 

Optimal System Configuration: 

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version) 
  • Operating System: Windows versions 8.1+, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) +, Android (latest and 2nd latest version), or iOS/iPad OS (latest and 2nd latest version) 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher 

Minimum Requirements: 

  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content 
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content 

For assistance: Contact for questions about this activity | Contact for technical assistance 

Availability: On-Demand
Expires on 09/21/2026
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
1 CME Credit
1 COP Credit
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