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CONCORD, N.H. — New Futures is pleased to announce that President & CEO Michele Merritt and Kids Count Policy Director Rebecca Woitkowski have been named Maternal Mental Health Nonprofit State Policy Fellows for 2023-24 by the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health.


“As many as one in five women in New Hampshire experience a mental health disorder during pregnancy or in the first year after birth,” said Woitkowski. “Despite the high need, many mothers lack access to critical services necessary to support strong maternal mental health." 


New Hampshire made a commitment to supporting maternal mental health in 2023 through the passage of the "Momnibus" bill, which improves access to mental health services for moms and their families.   


"I look forward to collaborating with the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health over the next year to ensure public policy in New Hampshire prioritizes the mental health needs of new mothers.  A strong system of support for moms ensures a bright future for all NH families," added Woitkowski.   


The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health works to close gaps in maternal mental health to ensure that all pregnant and postpartum mothers have ready access to standardized, evidence-based maternal mental health care from providers they respect and trust. 


Maternal Mental Health disorders, which are the most common complication of pregnancy, impact, on average, up to 1 in 5 of the expecting and postpartum mothers in the U.S. Mothers of color suffer at higher rates.


The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health’s Nonprofit State Policy Fellows program is designed to assist backbone organizations in developing a foundation for regulator and statutory policy change to close gaps in maternal mental health in the fellows’ respective states.


Fellows learn how to communicate effectively with policymakers and state agency leaders about maternal mental health, mental health in the criminal justice system, and addressing racial disparities. At the conclusion of the 12-month program, Fellows will receive ongoing support from the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health.

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