In the spring of 2020, the Maternal-Child Mental Health Program received funds to launch a new perinatal telepsychiatry service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The service is now expanding to include those struggling with substance use disorders and/or mental health symptoms during pregnancy, postpartum, preconception or after pregnancy loss. The clinical team includes Amritha Bhat, MD, MPH, Mary Shickich, MD, and Nadejda Bespalova, MD. Any patients with substance-related needs will be seen by Dr. Bespalova, a specialist in both perinatal addictions and mental health.
Since psychiatric co-morbidities in perinatal women with substance use disorder is common, this virtual clinic aims to remove silos between mental health and substance use care by providing both services under one roof. This dual offering is the only place in Washington State where perinatal people could receive these services virtually, in one clinic setting, and through one provider.