9 Best Charities for Maternal/ Postpartum Mental Health (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities for Maternal/ Postpartum Mental Health (Complete 2024 List)

By
Alycia O'Dell

Read Time:21 Minutes

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Maternal mental health disorders are the most common complication of pregnancy, impacting up to 1 in 5 expecting and postpartum mothers in the US. Moreover, although maternal depression and anxiety are associated with negative developmental outcomes for children, only about 15% of suffering mothers receive professional treatment. Fortunately, organizations around the world are working to ensure that all mothers have the resources they need to address their mental health. So, we had to ask: what are the best charities for maternal/postpartum mental health?

The best charities for maternal/ postpartum mental health are Postpartum Support International and Mental Health America. Charities such as 2020 Mom and the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance work to change the healthcare system to better serve mothers and their mental health.

Whether you want to advocate for policies that benefit new moms, support the creation of a universal screening tool and treatment protocol for postpartum depression, or increase awareness of its signs and symptoms, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for maternal/ postpartum mental health are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to donate. 

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight for Health Equity Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact, and transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate primarily throughout the US and Canada, but some combat maternal/postpartum mental health disparities internationally.

Many of these charities support the mental health of new and expecting mothers by advocating for policies that improve the field of maternal mental health. Others provide resources for mothers and their families to identify and overcome maternal mental illness.

Some provide live support, like group therapy and crisis hotlines, while others work behind the scenes to increase awareness of treatment options.

Yet, they all share a common goal: to ensure that no mother faces maternal mental health issues alone.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Maternal/ Postpartum Mental Health in 2024

Below are our favorite charities for maternal/ postpartum mental health (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Postpartum Support International: Prioritizing Perinatal Mental Health

Logo for Postpartum Support International
Postpartum Support Int'l PSA - Valerie Plame Wilson

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Postpartum Support International a 94% rating for Finance and Accountability. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum rating for transparency.

“You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well.”

Postpartum Support International

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What they do:

Postpartum Support International promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues during and after pregnancy. For example, they provide direct support through online support groups and peer-to-peer mentorship. Moreover, their PSI HelpLine offers basic information, support, and resources around the clock, and their provider directory connects women to qualified mental health professionals in their area. They also advocate for increased research and funding for perinatal mental health.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Postpartum Support International has provided continued support for new mothers suffering from mental health issues. For example, in 2021, their PSI HelpLine utilized 65 volunteers to respond to 17,000 calls, emails, and texts, and their online group therapy reached 11,285 parents. They also spearheaded Mind The Gap, an initiative designed to increase research and funding for perinatal mental health. Furthermore, their annual fundraiser, Climb Out of the Darkness, raised $178,654 across 134 events and 1,000 participants around the world.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Postpartum Support International through their website. You can also support the charity by becoming a member, volunteering, or by participating in a Climb Out of the Darkness event.

2

Mental Health America: Action Before Crisis

Logo for Mental Health America
Understanding our #B4Stage4 Philosophy

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives Mental Health America a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Crisis is not a starting point.”

Mental Health America

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What they do:

Mental Health America provides resources that help women better understand the prevention, early identification, and treatment of maternal mental health disorders. For example, they offer a free Postpartum Depression Test for new or expecting parents who think they may be experiencing the onset of symptoms. Also, their website contains educational resources about other maternal mental health disorders, such as postpartum psychosis and birth-related post-traumatic stress disorder, and how to seek treatment. Furthermore, they offer peer-to-peer support through their Peer Partners Program and provide resources on becoming a Peer Support Specialist.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Mental Health America has helped millions of people overcome mental illness, including those suffering during and after pregnancy. For example, in 2020 alone, their public education efforts reached 19,045,019 people. Furthermore, since 2014, their Online Screening Program has screened over 4 million individuals. This tool provides confidential, clinically validated screens for mental illnesses such as postpartum depression.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Mental Health America via their website. You can also get involved by joining their advocacy movement or by creating your own fundraiser.

3

2020 Mom: Laying a Foundation for Standardized Care

Logo for 2020 Mom
2020 Mom Video

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives 2020 Mom a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum rating for transparency.

“Visionaries for the future of Maternal Mental Health.”

2020 Mom

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What they do:

2020 Mom works to improve mental health outcomes for mothers by influencing the maternal mental health care delivery of key stakeholders. For example, they founded Mom Congress, a policy organization for U.S. mothers to address the most pressing policy issues of motherhood, like increasing access to maternal mental health providers. Moreover, they promote the use of evidence-based practice in maternal mental health care, such as the use of certified peer-support specialists and standardized screening for maternal mental health disorders. Furthermore, they offer educational opportunities for healthcare professionals to help them better identify and treat maternal mental health disorders.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, 2020 Mom has been fighting to improve access to high-quality maternal mental health care. For example, in 2017, as part of a government-sanctioned task force, they published a report detailing the state of maternal mental healthcare in California. This evaluated barriers to care and presented actionable steps to eliminate them. Furthermore, after identifying health inequities as a barrier to care, they piloted a program to strengthen peer and doula support for Black mothers in 2022.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to 2020 Mom via their website. You can also get involved by joining Mom Congress, or by contributing to their Maternal Mental Health Story Bank.

4

Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance: Advocating for Improvement

Logo for Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance
VIDEO MATERNA   INVISIBLE subt

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance spent 43% of their expenditure on advocacy, 34.2% on administrative activities, and 17.7% on education and research. 

“Improving Maternal Mental Health Care in the United States.”

Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance

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What they do:

The Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance improves maternal mental health through advocacy, collaboration, and education. For example, in partnership with March of Dimes, they lead the Perinatal Mental Health Education and Screening Project. This ensures all pregnant and postpartum people are educated about and screened for mental health disorders and connected with resources for recovery. They also host webinars and other learning opportunities to connect with experts and deliver critical information to those in the maternal mental health field. And, they advocate for national policies that improve maternal mental health and advance health equity.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance has fought for the mental health of pregnant and postpartum people. For example, in 2022, they championed the passage of the Into the Light for Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Act, which expanded funding for maternal mental health programs and established the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline. They also helped secure over $36.5 million in federal funding to improve maternal mental health care at the statewide level, including programs assisting mothers in rural and underserved areas. 

Ways to contribute:

You can get involved with the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance by joining their advocacy efforts. You can also attend an event or sign up to receive their newsletter.

5

Alexis Joy Foundation: A Legacy of Awareness

Logo for Alexis Joy Foundation
Adriana, Steven, and Postpartum Depression

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the Alexis Joy Foundation a 4-star rating. 

“A supportive resource for new mothers and their families.”

Alexis Joy Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The Alexis Joy Foundation supports women suffering from maternal mental health disorders by raising awareness of postpartum depression, providing educational resources, and supporting healthcare providers. For example, they work closely with the Allegheny Health Network to explore new ways to boost awareness of postpartum depression, increase access to treatment, and examine new treatment options. Furthermore, their website contains information about perinatal mood disorders, and how to seek immediate help. They also run maternal mental health events such as Night of Joy and Run for Joy.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Alexis Joy Foundation has had a significant impact on the state of maternal mental healthcare. For example, in their first 18 months, they raised over $100,000, which they awarded to Allegheny Health Network to advance the quality and availability of treatment. And, in 2018, they opened The Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for postpartum depression, a facility built specifically for new moms to address their mental health and grow self-confidence.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Alexis Joy Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by becoming a member on social media, or by participating in an event

6

StrongMinds: Innovating Mental Health Care for Moms in Africa

Logo for StrongMinds
StrongMinds: From Depression to Recovery

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives StrongMinds a 100% rating for Finance and Accountability. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum rating for transparency. 

“When you invest in mental health, you invest in human resilience.”

StrongMinds

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What they do:

StrongMinds treat depression, including postpartum depression, in African women by providing group talk therapy sessions. These sessions provide women with a safe space to discuss their mental health in all stages of motherhood. They also help them to identify triggers and coping strategies. Furthermore, the charity ensures the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of their therapy delivery model by training members of local communities, including former clients, to lead sessions on their own. And, they work with local organizations to layer mental health care into existing livelihood, food security, healthcare, and education programs to enhance outcomes for program participants.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, StongMinds has treated more than 210,000 women and adolescents for depression in Uganda and Zambia, including pregnant and postpartum women. 80% of participants reported being depression-free six months after treatment. Amid the height of COVID-19 restrictions, StrongMinds launched their teletherapy initiative to serve over 7,800 women remotely. To date, the charity has raised $8,021,826 to support vulnerable women with mental health worries.

Ways to contribute:

You can make a monetary donation to StrongMinds via their website. You can also support the charity by starting a fundraiser.

7

March of Dimes: Ensuring Access to Mental Health Care

Logo for March of Dimes
March of Dimes: Transformation

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the March of Dimes a 2-star rating due to the amount of money they spend on their programs. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Fighting for the health of all moms and babies.”

March of Dimes

⚒️

What they do:

March of Dimes supports the mental health of mothers through all stages of pregnancy and early motherhood through advocacy and education. For example, through their Mom and Baby Action Network, they unite stakeholders at national, state, and local levels to address factors that create barriers to mental health treatment, like economic insecurity and disconnected communities. They also provide resources for advocacy, such as a social media toolkit and a webinar on how to become an advocate. Furthermore, they offer continuing education courses that help healthcare providers identify and mitigate implicit bias in maternal mental healthcare. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, March of Dimes is a leading force in the fight for universal access to quality maternal mental healthcare for all mothers, babies, and children. For example, in 2020, they received the American Hospital Association’s Award of Honor for their efforts to advance health equity through their implicit bias training, which has been offered to more than 35,000 healthcare providers in over 30 states. Furthermore, in 2021, they supported the American Rescue Plan Act, which extends postpartum Medicaid coverage for up to 12 months, ensuring that mothers can continue to access vital services after birth. And, their largest fundraiser, March for Babies, has generated over $1.8 billion to support their mission since 1970.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to March of Dimes via their website. You can also volunteer locally or create your own fundraiser.

8

The Loveland Foundation: Increasing Access to Mental Health Resources for Women of Color

Logo for The Loveland Foundation
Loveland Foundation Therapy Fund

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, The Loveland Foundation dedicated 81% of their total donations directly to their therapy fund.

“We are becoming the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

The Loveland Foundation

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What they do:

The Loveland Foundation supports the mental health of women of color, including new and expecting moms, by increasing access to culturally competent therapy. For example, their Loveland Therapy Fund provides recipients with monetary vouchers to receive therapy from providers who specialize in minority mental health. Recipients also have access to online support groups. Furthermore, the charity builds cultural competence among their network of providers by offering continuing education courses addressing the needs of the black community. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, The Loveland Foundation has remained dedicated to supporting the mental health of women of color, including pregnant and postpartum women. For example, in 2021, their Loveland Therapy Fund provided over 5,000 women with more than 51,900 hours of therapy. Furthermore, 284 women participated in group sessions – with a network that includes 1,196 therapists, 460 of whom participated in continuing education through the charity. In the same year, the charity reached over 22 million users through their social media awareness campaigns.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to The Loveland Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by starting a fundraiser via your social media profile. 

9

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Comprehensive Support for Mental Health

Logo for National Alliance on Mental Illness
Welcome To NAMI

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the National Alliance on Mental Illness a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum rating for transparency. 

“Changing the mental health conversation, together.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness

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What they do:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness improves the lives of those with mental illness, including maternal mental health disorders, through advocacy, education, support, and public awareness. For example, their education program features classes for people with mental illness as well as stakeholders such as family members, significant others, and providers. They also provide peer support to those seeking guidance and resources via their 24-hour HelpLine. In addition, they provide comprehensive information about postpartum depression on their website, including treatment options, and how to cope if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness helps people struggling with their mental health, including maternal mental health disorders, through their network of over 600 affiliates and 49 state organizations across the US. For example, in 2021, they distributed $3.5 million in grants to advance the work of their network and to support more people. In the same year, their annual fundraiser, NAMIWalks Your Way raised $13.1 million across 122 events with over 40,000 participants nationwide. In addition, the charity’s advocacy efforts were integral to the launch of the 988 crisis number, a helpline for those suffering from anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and suicidal thoughts. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the National Alliance on Mental Illness via their website. You can also contribute by registering to participate in NamiWalks Your Way or volunteering to work on the HelpLine.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for maternal/ postpartum mental health. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to maternal/ postpartum mental health – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Alycia

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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