The Perinatal Mental Health Series provides healthcare professionals with the tools and information to enhance the quality of care and improve healthcare outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women experiencing untreated depression, anxiety, substance use, and other behavioral health disorders. Women who do not have immediate or easy access to a qualified mental health professional depend on their primary care providers to address their mental health concerns with confidence and competence. These courses are designed to support providers in offering improved care to these patients and perhaps circumvent the need for acute interventions.

These courses are intended for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pregnancy care providers across the spectrum of services, mental health professionals, case managers, and other professionals who support pregnant and postpartum women.

Courses include:

About North Carolina Maternal Mental Health MATTERS

NC MATTERS (Making Access to Treatment, Evaluation, Resources, and Screening Better) collaborates with the UNC School of Medicine, Duke University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Our mission is to increase access to mental health and substance use services for pregnant and postpartum women. We do this by offering training and consultation services to the primary care providers and medical support staff who care for this population.

In 2018, North Carolina was awarded a 5-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to launch this program in 15 targeted counties. We have since expanded our consultation and training services, making them available to providers across North Carolina.

Outreach and Education

NC MATTERS provides in-person and virtual learning opportunities to help pregnancy care providers from various backgrounds learn about perinatal mood disorders and other behavioral health conditions that can become complications of the pregnancy and postpartum periods. Topics include screening and assessment, patient coping skills, mother-child attachment, communicating with perinatal patients about mood disorders and substance use, and more. Our perinatal mental health specialists include a team of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers who can work with your practice to develop a webinar or presentation that meets your specific learning goals. 

Training and Technical Assistance

Many primary care and OB/GYN providers understand how mood disorders and substance use can impact their perinatal patients but are unsure how to consistently screen patients and route them to appropriate levels of care. Patients fall through the cracks as wait lists for specialized psychiatric care can be lengthy. Through a partnership with the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care, our team of specialists can work with your clinic to select appropriate screening measures, develop a protocol for collecting and tracking patient responses, and create a series of algorithms to help you feel more confident and competent in supporting your patients’ mental health needs.

Psychiatric Consultation and Assessments

The engine of NC MATTERS is our psychiatric access line (NC-PAL), available Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm, to provide one-on-one, case-specific consultations for providers with questions about patient care. The line is staffed full-time by a licensed clinical social worker and a perinatal psychiatric specialist. They can field patient-specific questions about diagnostic clarity, medication management, and care planning. Patients with a more complex psychiatric history or current needs can receive a one-time psychiatric assessment via telehealth to provide a more in-depth consultation.

Resource and Referral Support

Ninety of North Carolina's 100 counties are designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas by the NC Office of Rural Health. We maintain a database of perinatal mental health care providers across the state. We can support providers in directing their patients to appropriate and desired care, including therapy, support groups, medication management, substance use treatment, and postpartum support services. This database can be accessed by calling NC-PAL or by visiting our website:

Contact Us

For more information, please get in touch with us or check out our website.

NC Matters Website Psychiatric Consultation Line:
919-681-2909 x2