Maternal depression, including postpartum depression, negatively impacts mothers and the health and development of their children. Adolescent mothers are at greater risk of experiencing maternal depression than the general population. Teen parents, including fathers, also face greater barriers to accessing care and are often involved with multiple systems, including juvenile justice, child welfare, and homeless housing services. Tackling teen parents’ barriers to receiving mental health care can be a pathway towards breaking the cycles of intergenerational maltreatment and poverty.
Through this Emerging Leader Fellowship, Kali Hackett worked with PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to leverage the pediatric clinical setting to improve how the mental health needs of parenting teens are addressed.
Specifically, this Fellowship enabled Kali to:
- Identify gaps in knowledge and practice on how best to serve the mental health needs of parenting teens.
- Elevate the specific mental health needs of parenting teens by creating a Community Advisory Board and participating in City of Philadelphia-led efforts to address maternal depression.
- Strengthen pediatric health care’s role in meeting the mental health needs of parenting teens by incorporating best practices into health care services; identifying reimbursement strategies for mental health care; and participating in local, state, and national policy efforts.