The Rhode Island Maternal Psychiatry Resource Network (RI MomsPRN) is a free psychiatric telephone consultation service for health care providers who treat pregnant and postpartum women. RI MomsPRN is a collaborative project between the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and Women & Infants Center for Women’s Behavioral Health, funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). It was established to build the capacity of providers to screen for behavioral health and substance use disorders in their pregnant and postpartum patients, and respond with appropriate treatment and referral.
The program is modeled after Rhode Island’s successful Pediatric Psychiatry Resource Network (PediPRN) and similarly offers real-time perinatal psychiatric telephone consultation and resource/referral services to obstetricians, midwives, general practitioners, pediatricians, or any provider who encounters pregnant and postpartum women. The goal is to empower providers to effectively manage their perinatal patients’ behavioral health and substance use concerns, by initially providing treatment guidance from RI MomsPRN perinatal psychiatric specialists, and/or offering information and referral for additional supports and services in their patients’ geographic area.
Why do we need RI MomsPRN?
Up to one in five women in Rhode Island suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder during their pregnancy or postpartum, making it the most common medical complication of childbirth. Health care providers often discontinue or delay psychiatric medication in their pregnant or breastfeeding patients due to concerns about medication safety. RI MomsPRN specialists are available to provide real-time medication consultation and guidance, thus promoting high-quality care and improving healthy maternal and infant outcomes.
There is also growing evidence that perinatal substance use is increasing. Gone untreated, these complications can have long-lasting negative impacts on both mom and baby, including low birth weight, impaired mother-infant attachment, and cognitive and behavioral impairments during the child’s development. They can also negatively impact the relationship and mental health of partners, compounding the effects on the whole family.
Perinatal mood and substance use disorders are highly treatable. Rhode Island has a robust community of perinatal mental health experts and the unique programming of the Women’s Behavioral Health department and Day Hospital at Women & Infants. Still, there is a shortage in availability of specialized providers.
RI MomsPRN seeks to fill this need by offering education, guidance and support to build front-line prenatal and primary care providers' confidence in treating mild to moderate cases of perinatal mood complications, thus allowing specialty resources to be devoted to high-risk women with more complex conditions.
How does RI MomsPRN work?
Health care providers can call RI MomsPRN at (401) 430-2800 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your call will be answered by a Perinatal Clinical Social Worker who will gather information to assess and triage your patient’s needs and help determine the best next steps. This could include a same-day telephone consultation with a RI MomsPRN Perinatal Psychiatrist, referral for an in-person evaluation with a perinatal mental health specialist, referral to a community-based support group or perinatal therapist, or other case-dependent resources.
Supports and services offered by RI MomsPRN
Resource and referral (Social worker)
- Call intake and triage
- Make connections to treatment and support services
- Schedule provider teleconsultation with perinatal behavioral health experts
Clinical consultation (Psychiatrist and psychologist)
- Same-day, provider-to-provider psychiatric teleconsultation services
- Diagnostic support
- Treatment planning
- Medication and dosage recommendations
- Deliver continuing medical education sessions on a variety of perinatal behavioral health topics
How else can RI MomsPRN help?
Support with screening
A critical mission of RI MomsPRN is to increase screening for mental health and substance use disorders at all perinatal and pediatric care sites across the state. For practices that are interested in a more intensive engagement with RI MomsPRN, funding may be available through the Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island (CTC-RI) to support a quality improvement project at your practice, focused on implementing or enhancing screening for perinatal depression, anxiety and substance use. Interested practices may contact us by calling (401) 430-2800 to find out if they are eligible.
RI MomsPRN can support you and your practice through educational presentations and trainings. If you would like to request an in-person presentation or training, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the news
- Turnto10 - Health Check: Postpartum Depression Before Babys Birth
- Press Release: Behavioral Health Screening
- Recommended screening tools for perinatal depression, anxiety, and substance use
- Helpful hints for calling RI MomsPRN
- RI MomsPRN and the clinical workflow
- Practice enrollment form