Why The Pandemic Took An Especially High Mental Health Toll On New Parents

Published by Elly You via LAIST Magazine

Beyond Therapy And Around Barriers To Access


Kay, of Maternal Mental Health NOW, says she often refers patients to support programs outside of the healthcare system, which include home visitation programs, support groups and low-cost counseling run through non-profits.

“I know these kinds of workarounds…[and] unless someone finds me, I think they're just lost and getting bounced around from one provider to another,” Kay said. “That is a common experience for a patient or a family member to just be given a list of numbers to call them and still end up nowhere, because people don't take their insurance or they’re dead numbers.”

While access to therapy is limited, Kay says it’s also important to recognize that therapy is not “the be-all, end-all solution,” and that not everyone who experiences mental health issues needs clinical support.

“We try and think more holistically about treatment options and forms of care…a lot of times social support is all that's needed.”

Blackman found social support as a complement to therapy. In October of 2020, she helped create a virtual peer support group of Black parents who have borne children, called Black Mamas Glowing through the non-profit iDream For Racial Health Equity. She wanted the focus to be on the parent, because other groups she’d identified and had been a part of paid more attention to the child.

She also wanted to be part of a group that was accessible to other Black parents.

“It's great, because you can just be unapologetically yourself,” Blackman said. “You don’t have to be like ‘Oh I have to be a super woman or have it altogether,’ Like, no. You just gave birth to a baby. It’s OK.”

Blackman says she's since "graduated" from therapy and has developed the language to talk about anxiety and depression, and now refers other moms to the support systems she's found.


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Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention partnered with the non-profit organization, Antelope Valley Partners for Health (AVPH), to assemble a violence prevention coalition and to collect and analyze research from the communities within the Service Planning Area 1 (SPA 1), geographically including Northern LA County. AVPH collaborated with coalition members to develop and implement five violence prevention objectives to foster safer Los Angeles communities. As part of this work, AVPH is offering a series of mini-grants. The mini-grants must be utilized to support the community action plan goals in encouraging a violence-free L.A. and in initiating post-violence healing.

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Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance - Black Maternal Mental Health Week 2022

Today kicks off Black Maternal Mental Health Week! And we are proud to be joining forces with mental health advocates, organizational leaders, and moms across the U.S. as we advocate for change all week! 

Created and hosted by Shades of Blue Project, this year’s #BMMHW2022 is dedicated to promoting health equity for more black birthing individual across their birth experience so we are Collectively working for greater community impact and change. Together, we can make shift happen!

Key Facts:

➤ Rates of PPD in new & expectant moms have doubled during COVID, with black moms at 2-3x higher risk but are nearly 2X less likely to receive mental health treatment.

➤ With stay-at-home orders, black moms were hit the hardest in parental duties by  spending half a day (12 hours) more on child care per week than white moms.

➤ 20 percent of women display symptoms of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. The figure climbs to 44 percent for black women compared to white women.

➤ Black moms contend with unique challenges from the racial disparities amplified by COVID, including lack of high-quality medical care, increased stress and exposure to racial trauma, and higher risk of childbirth complications.

➤ From dismissed medical needs to birthing complications, black women are more likely to experience traumatic births and the mental health consequences that follow.

➤ Cultural barriers and a lack of representation in the mental health field continue to limit black women from seeking help. According to American Psychological Association, only 5.3% of the psychology professionals are black; and of the estimated 41,000 psychiatrists in the U.S., only 2% are black according to the American Psychiatric Association — despite making up 13% of the U.S. population. 

📢 WILL YOU DEMAND CHANGE WITH US? Urge your elected officials to support the Moms Matter Act (S. 484/H.R. 909), which addresses equity in maternal mental health — with just a few clicks!


Learn more about this week of action at https://lnkd.in/dThHN-U


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Community and Family Engagement Council (CFEC) is Recruiting New Members - Applications Due August 5th!

The Help Me Grow LA Community and Family Engagement Council (CFEC) is recruiting new members, with applications due August 5.  CFEC is an advisory group to Help Me Grow LA, made up of Parent Champions familiar with the experiences of children with or at risk of behavioral and developmental delays, who want to help create a more supportive and equitable early childhood system. CFEC’s role is to represent the family perspective, to help ensure that early childhood services meet the needs of families, and to ensure that families and children remain at the center of all HMG LA efforts. As thanks for sharing their time and expertise, all CFEC members will have the choice to receive gift cards or honorariums. To learn more, please read the attached FAQ or visit www.helpmegrowla.org

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Supreme Court Overturns Roe vs. Wade in Landmark Opinion

The recent shocking Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v Wade has reverberated across our AAIMM network. Not only is the decision harmful and completely lacking in compassion, it is an afront to bodily agency and stands to inequitably impact Black women/birthing persons, who experience death and dangerous complications from pregnancy and childbirth at greater rates than other groups.

Below are statements from partners and advocates in the decision:


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Baby Formula Shortage in Los Angeles County: Tips, Guidance, and Resources

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American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) - Learn More

Los Angeles County is working to help communities severely impacted by the pandemic recover with investments from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other funding sources. Through December 2024, the County is working to identify a wide range of community-based organizations, and businesses to help LA County build back better.
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Baby Formula Shortage in Los Angeles County Tips, Guidance, and Resources

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Download our Village Tip Sheets

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The Takeaway: Black Maternal Health Disparities and Solutions

APRIL 11, 2022 via The Takeaway 
From Public Radio Exchange -- PRX

Black Maternal Health Disparities and Solutions

In 2017, the World Health Organization found that even though maternal mortality rates were decreasing globally, the U.S. was one of two countries to experience a significant increase in its maternal mortality ratio. What this means is that women and other birthing people in the U.S. are "dying before, during, and after childbirth" at a rate higher than any developed nation in the world, with Black women and Black birthing persons 3 times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications than their white counterparts.

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