Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are the most common complication of childbirth, with suicide a leading cause of postpartum deaths. PMADs are associated with poor maternal, infant, and family outcomes. Identification and early intervention are imperative for successful treatment. This case study describes the implementation and outcomes of a multidisciplinary Perinatal Mental Health Task Force (“Task Force”) at one urban academic children’s hospital that was created to promote systems change and health care policy solutions for improved identification and treatment of PMADs. Using the social ecological model as a framework, the Task Force addressed care at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy levels. The Task Force applied lessons learned from division-specific screening initiatives to create best practices and make hospital-wide recommendations. This foundational work enabled us to build community bridges and break down internal barriers to shift our pediatric hospital toward prioritizing perinatal mental health. As a result, screening expanded to multiple hospital locations and became a hospital corporate goal, the Perinatal Mental Health Screening Tool Kit was created and disseminated within the community, Task Force members testified in governmental hearings and joined national organizations to inform policy, and Task Force and community collaborations resulted in significant grant funding. Lessons learned have been disseminated nationally. Moving forward, we aim to expand our program and partnerships to ensure that caregivers of infants receive appropriate mental health support to strengthen family well-being. The Task Force can serve as a model for advocates looking to expand and integrate PMAD care.

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