Peer- Facilitated PMAD Support Group Toolkit
10,000 babies are born in Ventura County each year. This means that at least 1,500 new mothers may suffer from Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) in our county- each and every year! You know these women. They are our sisters and our wives, our physicians, managers, grocery store clerks, teachers, etc. You encounter them daily in breastfeeding support groups, places of worship, while shopping at the market... And maybe, you were one of them, and you know what it's like to smile, and nod, and say that everything is okay, all while shamefully wondering what is broken inside of you, and why it hurts so much.
No mother should ever feel alone. Moms and babies of our community need our tender, loving care. Women deserve sacred spaces in which they can heal by finding their voices, shedding cleansing tears, and supporting each other. Moms need safety in which their stories will be honored, and received with compassion and unconditional acceptance. They need to pour into and be fed by a river of the collective, ancestral wisdom of womanhood. In short, we need to bring back the, 'Village' to Ventura County.
Social support is known to be both a protective factor and a healing intervention for PMAD. Social support through Peer Support Groups can serve as an addition to a comprehensive treatment plan for women experiencing PMAD. They often act as the first point of entry into getting effective care and play a vital role in helping group members heal.
In hopes of encouraging growth of support networks and healing spaces for moms of Ventura County, we gathered information from best practices and developed a Toolkit for PMAD Peer Support. If you are passionate about the well being of moms and babies, and would like to help, please consider starting a peer support group in your community. You could be someone's beacon of hope.
We are humbled and deeply grateful for you and your desire to help women with PMAD. We hope that you find the Toolkit useful, and will be encouraged to start making a difference. Now. Our moms are waiting.
For more information, please contact 805.824.1119, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: MMHCVC and its’ members are not responsible for the use of the information in the Toolkit or on-line modules