Online and downloadable versions
While diagnosing and treating depression are outside of WIC's scope, WIC’s nutrition assessment process and referral services lend themselves well to identifying and linking women with or at risk of depression to appropriate services.
As noted in WIC Guidance for Screening and Referring Women With or at Risk for Depression, there are simple and effective screening tools that can be incorporated into the WIC nutrition assessment process. Examples of highly sensitive screening tools noted in this guidance include the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (permission required to copy), Postpartum Depression Screening Scale, and Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ).
An online version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and PHQ-9, the nine-item depression module from the full PHQ, are available with automatic scoring.
PHQ-9 in multiple languages is also available online for downloading, with instructions for coding and scoring.
*These tools are self-administered versions, and are not diagnostic tests. WIC staff may use them to help identify women who may need referrals for appropriate services. Only direct, personal interaction with a mental health professional can provide an accurate assessment of symptoms.
Resources for Individuals in Need of Assistance (emergent or otherwise)
new! The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support via phone or text for people in distress. This shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services. There is also a web chat available 24/7.
Prevention and crisis resources, including posters and a magnet (available in Spanish), wallet cards, and safety plan pads, are available for professionals to download or order.
- The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline, 1-833-9HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746), is a free English and Spanish language confidential hotline for pregnant and new moms, available 24/7. Check out the Maternal Mental Health page on WIC Works for an additional resource.
- SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems.
- Mental Health America's Finding Therapy site shares a fact sheet and referral sources.
- The Helping Your Loved One Who is Suicidal: A Guide for Family and Friends downloadable publication provides information on understanding suicide, warning signs and action steps to take, and how to prevent future attempts and keep your loved one safe.
Looking for more information? Check out these mental health-related resources found on WIC Works.