Healthcare Alternative System's Perinatal Depression Program
Bureau of Maternal and Infant Health
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description

Healthcare Alternative Systems (HAS) is the perinatal depression grantee in Chicago. HAS is responsible to provide screening and assessment, treatment and psychiatric care to women referred to them who are suffering from postpartum depression. HAS also provides training to agencies and medical providers within the community. Services are available to all women in need. HAS has particular expertise in serving the Hispanic community. North and south side facilities provide clinic services.

A statewide perinatal mental health consultation service has been established for providers to use when a screening indicates that a pregnant or postpartum woman may be suffering from depression. This service provides consultation with psychiatrists, information about medications that may be used in the management of perinatal depression both during and after pregnancy, and assistance in referring women to available mental health resources. A toll free number is available for perinatal mental health consultations


Women identified as having or at risk for developing postpartum depression will be identified and referred for treatment.


To provide screening and assessment, treatment and psychiatric care to women referred to them who are suffering from postpartum depression.


Treatment will consist of psychotherapy and psychiatric evaluation and follow-up care. Program specific case management services will also be provided. HAS will provide in-service trainings on the administering, scoring, and general interpretation of the Edinburgh Post natal Depression Scale (EPDS) to community agencies and HFI workers. HAS provides educational trainings/presentations on postpartum depression for case managers/case workers, mental health practitioners, public health staff, RNs, and social workers, as well as new moms or soon-to-be new moms. Trainings focus on the identification of symptoms, the difference between the "baby blues" and PPD, risk factors, and available treatment options.

Delivery Method

Clients receive their psychiatric evaluations at the Northside location. Transportation cards are available for those clients who do not have a car to get to the north outpatient offices for their evaluation with the doctor. In special circumstances, a PPD case manager is sent out to pick up and drop off clients who would otherwise not be able to make it to their appointment.

Program Data

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $200.0 $306.0 $226.5 $296.0
Number of Grantees 1 1 1 1
Number Served *695 *706 *1,173 *767

*Referrals for screenings

Program Effectiveness

  • The program data demonstrates the steady growth in clients served.
  • The program continues to be over caseload and growing.