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Senate Committee Approves CERVANTES Proposal to Improve Access to Treatment for Maternal Mental Health

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) — Today, the Senate Health Committee unanimously approved Assembly Bill 798 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona). AB 798 will help to address the key issues of improving access to treatments that effectively prevent, identify, and manage maternal mental health disorders.

“AB 798 will help make important progress toward ensuring that women with maternal mental health disorders can receive the treatment and care they need and deserve,” Assemblymember Cervantes said. “Postpartum support during this critical transition sets the stage for a woman’s wellbeing for years to come. We must not allow women and their families to continue suffering in silence.”

Maternal mental health disorders continue to be the most common complication of pregnancy in the United States. According to the state’s Department of Health, one in five California women who recently gave birth experience symptoms of depression during or after pregnancy. Untreated, these disorders significantly and negatively impact the short and long-term health and well-being of affected women and their children.

AB 798 would create a telepsychiatry referral pilot program in Riverside County, among other counties, that would help build the capacity of health providers serving pregnant and postpartum women up to one year after delivery.

The California Health and Human Services Agency, in consultation with the California Task Force on the Status of Maternal Mental Health’s Implementation Steering Committee and state entities, shall submit a report to the Legislature within six months after the results of the pilot program are reported.

AB 798 will next be heard in Senate Appropriations. You can find more information about the bill here.

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Sabrina Cervantes proudly represents the 60th District of the California State Assembly, which encompasses the cities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, a portion of Riverside, and the unincorporated communities of Coronita,El Cerrito, and Home Gardens. Cervantes serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.