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Birthing People of Color who May be Reluctant to Start Psycho-pharmacological Treatment: How to Navigate this Challenge

In some cultures, birthing people may express emotional distress as somatic complaints. However, validated screening tools like the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire, for example, do not contain questions that can assess the physical presence of psychological distress. The panelist will discuss how culture impacts patients' perceptions of maternal mental health, help-seeking behaviors, and retention to care among ethnically diverse birthing people. In addition, the panelist will explore the cultural applicability of the available validated instruments for screening for PMADs and offer recommendations on how providers can incorporate culturally competent care as part of the PMAD screening process.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine how culture impacts perceptions of perinatal mental illness and help-seeking behaviors in postpartum birthing people.
  • Review the relevance of the current maternal mental health assessment tools.
  • Explore the barriers to seeking maternal mental health care among ethnically diverse birthing people.

Target Audience

Medical Students, Residents/Fellows, Psychiatrists, Non-psychiatrist Physicians, Psychologists, Social Workers, Nurses, Peer Specialists 

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 1 hour
Event Date: July 11, 2023
Credit Claim Date: July 11, 2026

How to Earn Credit

In support of improving patient care, American Psychiatric Association (APA) 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 American Psychiatric Association (APA) designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Planning Committee and Faculty 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.

Faculty Disclosures

  • Alexis Wesley, MD. Has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
  • Jabina Coleman, LSW, MSW, IBCLC. Has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
  • Sara Kornfield, MD. Has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
  • Alexis Wesley, MD. Has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Planning Committee

  • Regina James, MD, APA. Has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

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 07/11/2026
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
1 CME Credit
1 COP Credit
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